Deafening sounds of gunfire seized the air on Friday as #EndSARS protesters crowded the headquarters of the notorious special anti-robbery squad (SARS) in Awkuzu, Anambra State.
The protesters, who were led by Chinedu Okoli, highlife maestro better known as Flavour; Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike, a rapper better known as Phyno, Kingsley Okonkwo, singer better known as Kcee, were chanting “End SARS! End SARS!”.
A Twitter user shared a video that captured a policeman firing live bullets.
The massive crowd had converged on Awka, the state capital, from where they moved to the disbanded SARS office to demand the shut down of the facility.
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The Akwuzu SARS office, led by one James Nwafor, has been accused of gross misconduct, arbitrary arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings.
While endorsing the #EndSARS protest on Thursday, Willie Obiano, governor of the state, announced that Nwafor would be prosecuted.
The governor said he would visit all the SARS offices in the state and ensure the immediate release of protesters that have been detained by the police.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Bonaventure Mokweh, a hotelier, narrated his torture experience at the Akwuzu detention facility.
He detailed how young men, who were arrested and kept in detention, were “murdered by the SARS operatives”.
Addressing the crowd, Flavour had said the protesters must get to Awkuzu today and shut down the office completely.
He also said the ending SARS is just one of the negative issues the youths are fighting, adding that what they want is a total renewal of the Nigerian system.
“Look at our youth everywhere but no jobs for them. The new slogan now is Renew Nigeria,” he declared to loud applause from the youths.
Though, the police in the state have disbanded the SARS unit in the state in line with the decision of the Inspector General of Police, the protesters say the office should be completely shut down, as it was a despicable place which has blood of lots of innocent victims on its grounds.
Meanwhile, protesters shut the third mainland bridge in Lagos.
The bridge, which connects the mainland part of the state to the island, is one of the busiest in the country.
Around 5:30pm on Friday, protesters chanting “End SARS!” prevented free flow of traffic on one section of the bridge, leaving people who are returning from work stranded.
As of the time of filing this report, both sections of the bridge, which is undergoing repairs, were blocked.
Blocking major highway across the country is one of the ways the protesters have used to catch the attention of the country.
Although Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, disbanded SARS on the fourth day of the demonstration, protesters have refused to leave the streets.
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