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EndSARS: Amnesty International condemns police for killing Kolade Johnson, mocks Osinbajo’s reform



Amnesty International (AI) has joined the EndSARS campaign in Nigeria.

The human rights organisation, on Monday joined the condemnation of the Nigeria Police over the killing of one Kolade Johnson.Johnson was shot accidentally by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officers who had been pursuing another man at the football viewing centre.

AI said it has documented a pattern of grave human rights violations carried out by SARS since 2016.

“Kolade Johnson is the latest victim of the SARS police unit which has become notorious for extrajudicial killings, torture and extortion,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

“This appears to be an unlawful killing which must be impartially and thoroughly investigated, with any officers suspected of criminal responsibility for wrongdoing brought to justice in fair trial before an ordinary civilian court.

“It is shameful that more than two years since Amnesty International highlighted crimes under international law and human rights violations by SARS, these shocking incidents continue unabated.”

“There has been a public outcry over the killing, with thousands of people using the #EndSARS social media hashtag in the past 24 hours.

“Nigerians will no longer accept the brutality being unleashed against them by SARS on an almost daily basis,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

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“SARS is a police unit created to protect the people. Instead it has become a danger to society, torturing its victims with complete impunity while fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption.”

Amnesty International recalled that it’s September 2016 report titled ‘Nigeria: You have signed your death warrant’, showed how the unit has been systematically torturing detainees as a means of extracting confessions and bribes.

The body also lamented that all subsequent government pledges to reform SARS, including one by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in August last year, have amounted to nothing.

AI added that: “Much more needs to be done to end human rights violations by SARS, including unnecessary and excessive use of force, extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention and extortion.

“Wide-ranging reforms must be carried out so that Nigerians can trust the police to protect them,” said Osai Ojigho.

“Evidence of crimes and human rights violations committed by SARS is widely available, including in reports by Amnesty International, and this should aid effective investigation into crimes committed by the squad.”

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