The Lagos State House of Assembly has demanded the proscription of notorious Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) just as it calls for a new and well-structured outfit in its place.
The House further requested Hakeem Odumosu, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, to ensure EndSARS protesters are adequately protected.
The call was made Friday at an emergency sitting presided over by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa as pressure mounts across the nation for an end to serial human rights violations, extortion and killings perpetrated by F-SARS operatives.
Obasa and some lawmakers had addressed some residents of Lagos who protested to the House of Assembly on Thursday demanding for an end to F-SARS with some of them alleging that innocent people had become the major victims of the body.
Among the seven-point resolution passed after an extensive deliberation was that the Senate and the House of Representatives should carry out a probe of the allegations against F-SARS including killing, maiming and dehumanising of Nigerians.
The House resolved that the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State should protect End-SARS Protesters in the state and ensure that they are not molested and that he should stop unwarranted molestation of the youths by the FSARS and its counterparts in the State.
They demanded further that the Senate President and the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives should institute a public enquiry on the extra-judicial activities, killings, maiming and dehumanization of the youths by the Anti- Robbery Squad; and ensure that the victims are duly compensated while erring officers sanctioned appropriately.
“SARS should be proscribed and a new security outfit which will be more efficient with clearly spelt out code of conduct and rule of engagements be established while sanction is imposed for the misdemeanour.
“Mr President should ensure that culpable officials of SARS receive the punishment as prescribed by the National Assembly,” the lawmakers stated.
The Assembly also directed its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Petitions to liaise with the Commissioner of Police and Attorney General of the State to fashion out ways and means to address allegations of ruthlessness and extrajudicial killings contained in the petition against SARS in the state.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was also urged to engage relevant institutions “to protect lives and property in the state such that phones, laptops and other means of communication belonging to youths are not confiscated indiscriminately without a warrant.”
This is as Frank Mba, Nigerian Police Force’s spokesman has said the F-SARS are “deeply” involved in the fight against banditry and terrorism in some parts of the country especially the North, hence cannot be scrapped as being demanded.
Mba emphasised that SARS cannot be scrapped because of the ongoing fight against crimes in the country but said the Force is currently reforming the operations of SARS officers nationwide to curtail their excesses.
The Force PRO spoke in Abuja on Friday while featuring on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.
Mba said, “If #EndSARS is a metaphor and is seen as a call for a symbolic reform of SARS, I will say clearly that the leadership of the NPF is in line and is ready to work with those who are making that call.
“However, if the #EndSARS should be seen and interpreted as the total disbandment of SARS, I will tell you very clearly that it will be difficult for any responsible organisation to walk that path taking into cognisance the amount of investment that government has made in training and (in) setting up that department, (and) taking into cognisance the critical role that department is playing.
“As a matter of fact, we have also received a lot of calls from people, particularly in states like Yobe, Maiduguri (Borno), Katsina and other parts of the north where SARS operatives are deeply embedded in the fight against banditry, in the fight against insurgency.
“And these people have made it very clear that ending SARS is not even an option for them because of the critical roles that SARS operatives are playing in those areas to rein down heavily on bandits, on terrorists and other kinds of violent criminals.
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