NOPRIN Foundation applauds IGP Adamu over disbandment of IRT, STS satellite offices


… Says society is better, safer without them        

The Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) Foundation has applauded the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu following his action to disband the satellite offices and the bases of the Special Tactical Squad (STS) and the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

According to the National Coordinator, NOPRIN Foundation, Ikule Emmanuel in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday, the action of the IGP deserved an accolade as it was a positive response to the outcries of many Nigerians who had suffered in their hands and custody over the years.

Ikule recalled that a couple of reports by notable individuals and Civil Society Organisations including the past National Coordinator of the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN Foundation) now the Executive Director of RULAAC, Mr. Okechwukwu  Nwanguma had raised questions on the activities of these units as well as the criminal activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and how the Nigeria Police Force had suffered series of backlash from local and international communities as to the level of impunity and unprofessionalism exhibited by these various units.

He noted that considering the countless number of extrajudicial killings, torture, assaults, violence and extortions perpetrated by these units, one could only say that the society was better and even safer without them adding that “with the other units and departments like the Central Intelligence Unit, the Complaint Response Unit and the others within the force working silently within the confines of the law and achieving great strides, the society is better off even though they also have their flaws.”

“We raise our voice once more to appreciate this decisive move and urge the IGP to extend similar action to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit as well. Apart from the petitions and press releases we in the Civil Society Sector have submitted, there have been numerous complaints and testimonies from individuals and groups within and outside the country of the degree of impunity and misconduct of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Unit.

“From the brutal murder of Tiamiyu, the torture of Chima to death, the extortion and unlawful arrest and torture of Chidi Oluchi among several others. Various reports also reveal how they enrich themselves with the items stolen and seized from their victims and their relative, how the poor and defenseless ones are the most affected. They get involved in non-criminal offences and carry out high degree of torture on suspects on little issues of misunderstanding.

“Their unaccountability and refusal to acknowledge their evil acts is unbearable and deserves immediate action for a safer and much better society. Ever since the passage of the Anti-torture Act, there has been no convicted case and this goes to show how comfortable it is for them to perpetrate their illegal acts and the confidence with which they do it. But of what help is a security unit created to protect and reduce crime if they themselves are the criminals and even worse offenders in the society? More lives will be lost and damages done if a similar fate that befell the Intelligence Response Team and the Special Tactical Squad is not directed at them”, he said.

He pointed out that Police reform cannot be successful without the support of all CSOs, media, activist having one voice on issues that would enable citizens have a better Police Force noting that “NOPRIN Foundation on behalf of its 53 member organizations, supports the statement issued earlier by notable CSOs in support of the disbandment of IRT & STS which represent the views of Civil Society Organisations as well as the Society it represents.”

“NOPRIN also disassociates itself from comments issued by persons without knowledge on the issues of discuss like Christopher Oji, Sun Newspaper and kindly advise such persons to refrain using or mentioning NOPRIN or its members in statements but make their own stand on issues known. We appreciate this wonderful decision by the IGP of Police and we urge him to continue this good work”, Ikule added.

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