By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The prominent CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCACY BODY-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the inspector general of police MUHAMMED ADAMU to come clean on his pronouncement disbanding the special anti- Robbery squad (SARS) following continuous operation of the dreaded and compromised SARS in different parts Of Nigeria several hours after the publication.
In a strongly worded statement, HURIWA condemned police hierarchy who in the name of President Muhammadu Buhari apparently deceived Nigerians going by the sad reality that a reporter with Arise TV Mr Francis Ogbonna and some natives and a resident of Amechi Awkunanaw in Enugu south local government Area of Enugu state were manhandled and arbitrarily detained by operatives under the same auspices of the so-called dissolved SARS.
Besides, HURIWA stated that reports from parts of Imo state and Aba in Abia state , show that police operatives and facilities administered by SARS are still very much intact just as hundreds of Nigerians have encountered Excruciating and horrific experiences with this apparently lawless officials of the Nigerian Police Force who have disrespected the direct orders of President Buhari through the inspector general of Police to disband.
On the matter of the grave human rights violation of the journalist with Arise TV Mr Ogbonna Francis by operatives of SARS, HURIWA condemned the actions of the police as a direct affront to the provisions of chapter 4 of 1999 constitution on the fundamental rights of the citizen Ogbonna Francis and section 22 of Nigerian constitution which mandates the media to work as the conscience of the Nation to monitor activities of governments. HURIWA lamented that over two dozen practicing journalists have either been brutalized, arbitrarily detained or gravely injured by police operatives since the inauguration of the current President Muhammadu Buhari led administration which is increasingly becoming authoritarian and tyrannical with each passing day.
“We demand the arrest, prosecution and punishment by the brutes in police uniform who inflicted the horrendous injuries on the Arise TV journalist just as the police must pay a compensation of fifty million to the wounded journalist or be ready to be sued for several billions. We condemn the reported flouting and flagrant disregard of the instrumentity of the of law by police men in Enugu, Imo and Abia State just as we call on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu to act decisively to assure Nigerians that they have not been deceived.
On the reported arbitrary arrest by SARS in Enugu, HURIWA disclosed that a law firm of Chijioke Obinna and Associates has just sent a petition to HURIWA stating thus: A COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY, INTIMIDATION, HARASSMENT, INDISCRIMINATE ARREST AND DETENTION AND THE USE OF THE NIGERIA POLICE TO OCCASION THEFT BY INSPECTOR CELESTINE NYIGBA : AND SOS REQUEST.
HURIWA narrated what was contained in the report to be a record of the experiences of the victim of the excesses of disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Enugu State, in the person of Mr Chinedu Ogbodo, who incidentally has also petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to come to his aid and put an end to the continuous detention of his workers by the deadly disbanded unit.
Ogbodo who hails from Amechi Awkunanaw in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, speaking through his lawyer who signed the petition, Obinna Ugwu, explained how one Inspector Celestine Nyigba, led his men to the project site.
He narrated how in the early hours of Sunday, 11th October 2020, at about 4 am, Inspector Nyigba led a team of operatives to raid a project site, smashed through the security house and without provocation or any reason, violently pounced on the security guards who had gone in to shield themselves from the rain. He said the security guards have since been held in the SARS facility, Enugu.
He said one of the unarmed night guards was shot on the legs, while some other sustained various degrees of injuries and were bundled out of the project site like common criminals, even when they were not caught in any violent crime.
“Ogbodo was appointed by his community as the site supervisor for the community’s development project situated in Amechi Awkunanaw. He was entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the entire work on the site.
“In the discharge of his responsibility, our client secured the services of some night guards from a private security service outfit based in Enugu and headed by one Alhaji Ahmed which security outfit deployed about five (5) of their personnel to the project site equipping them with torchlights, whistles and clubs necessary for the discharge of their duty to guide the site and call attention in the event of any ugly situation.
“According to our Client, when he resumed work at about 9 am of the same day, he discovered to his greatest dismay the overwhelming absence of the night guards which left the store unprotected, thereby occasioning the breaking into the same store with several items such as a high voltage electricity conductor (that is, High Tension cable) worth about Thirty-Three Million (N33,000,000.00) Naira, steel reinforcement rods worth over Seven Million (N7,000,000.00) Naira, Eight Hundred and Fifty (850) bags of cement among other valuables carted away.
“In view of the above therefore, it is our clients’ most humble desire and prayer that you use your good offices to come to his assistance by causing an immediate release of the innocent security guards whose fundamental human rights have been terribly infringed upon for urgent medical attention so as to avoid a possible loss of the lives of innocent Nigerians,” part of the letter read.
HURIWA is shocked that despite the fact that even the President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and virtually the entire leaderships of the different levers of government have continued to applaud the Police following the widely reported public notice on the dissolution by the IGP of SARS, It is clear that the crimes against humanity for which a lot of the SARS operatives were accused of committing, are being replicated many hours after the celebrated DISBANDMENT OF SARS.