EndSARS: Human Rights Groups Demand Investigation of Other Police Units
Following the creation of the Investigation Panel by Governor Bala Mohammed to investigate human rights abuses by the Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS) in Bauchi state, human rights organizations have regretted the exclusion of petitions directed against another unit police, the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) which has allegedly mistreated residents and committed several other human rights violations in the state.
In a letter addressed to the governor and shared with Vanguard over the weekend, the Prison Inmates Development Initiative (PIDI-NIGERIA) in collaboration with the Cleen Foundation and the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria regretted the exclusion from activities of RRS in the investigation of the committee.
Writing on behalf of human rights groups, PIDI-NIGERIA Managing Director Mbami Iliya said that the governor omitted the investigation of RRS activities in the terms of reference given to the investigation panel despite his alleged notorious activities in the state.
“On October 27, 2020, Bauchi State Executive Governor Bala Mohammed established a judicial investigation panel to investigate human rights abuses by the police, especially the activities of the Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS ).
“Over the years, investigations have shown that police brutality in Bauchi state by the rapid response brigade and other police units in Bauchi includes beatings, intimidation, extortion and extrajudicial killings of suspects. With reference to our claims on August 19, 2020; PIDI-Nigeria drew his attention through a letter entitled: “Re-emergency: a demand letter and a complaint against SP Baba Yola of the Rapid Response Squad for harassment, intimidation and inhuman treatment inflicted on small traders in the Awala roundabout in Bauchi State. “
“Your Excellency, the activities of the Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police force is silent in Bauchi state as such. However, if the Bauchi state government is truly willing to seek justice for oppressed citizens who have been victims of police brutality in the state, the government should include other police units for the investigation.
“Finally, we suggest that right-wing civil society organizations that have been advocating for police reform in Bauchi state should be part of the Committee for effective implementation and monitoring,” the letter says.
Source: – Vanguard