Some youths has on Wednesday taken to the streets of Lagos to demonstrate their displeasure over brutality, harassment, extortion, hysteria, and extra-judicial killings by men attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state.
According to the protesting youths, SARS continued harassing them as seen in Computer Village, Ikeja, not minding the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The protest was tagged “Three Days Protest Calling for the Outright Disbandment of SARS”, participants said the Lagos State Police Command and the State House of Assembly are their focus.
They carried placards with bold inscriptions including, “Am I the next to die?”, “Stop extorting and killing us”, “Stop Police Brutality”, “Why shoot bullets at us?”, “I am not a criminal #EndSARS”, “Our lives matter”, “Stop criminalising innocent citizens”.
From Ikeja Under Bridge opposite Computer Village, they protested to the Police Command Headquarters Ikeja to further register their woes.
At the command, their demands to meet the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu was unsuccessful.
While the protesters sat on the ground, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Ali Muhammed addressed them.
Speaking, the DCP sued for peace just. He noted that ongoing measures by the Police Force Headquarters and the Lagos Command to address the anomaly were ongoing.
In their demands as articulated by Citizens Gavel Foundation against Social Justice, they lamented that despite several reforms announced by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, cases of abuse of citizens by SARS have increased without any steps taken by the police hierarchy to address the fundamental problem of impunity of the operatives.
They further outlined that SARS operatives promote extortion for self-enrichment and lawlessness, of which their non-adherence to the prescription of the law poses greater consequences for citizens.
According to their listed demands, they called for total disbandment of SARS as a unit, and a list of all officers found culpable in the past and transparent prosecution meted out.
The demonstration also demanded for justice for all victims who had suffered injustice in the past and a public enquiry on the activities of the unit in the past.
Part of their demands was all verifiable victims, both dead and alive, be compensated.
While charging the police to ensure all unjust harassment and extortion of youth by the police to stop, they emphasised that policemen on duty must have their name tags showing their units as well.
They urged the police command to ensure they outlaw the norm of gun-toting policemen dressed in civil wear in unmarked vehicles while on duty.
The protesters, however, suggested that the police hierarchy applied digital medium for tracking such cases with the police.Follow us on social media