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Senate seeks arrest, prosecution of SARS operatives as it probes extrajudicial killings

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Senate seeks arrest, prosecution of SARS operatives as it probes extrajudicial killings

The Senate yesterday mandated its committees on Judiciary and Police Affairs to swing into action by investigating allegations of extrajudicial killings against operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who were involved.

It also asked the authorities concerned to follow up with the arrest of such officers and their prosecution to serve as deterrent to others.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, spoke while ruling on the Senate resolution on a motion by Senator Oluremi Tinubu “Urgent need to check brutality of security officials in Nigeria especially SARS”

Senator Tinubu in her motion had raised serious concern over the recent extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses by SARS operatives.
Lawan therefore charged the senate committees on Judiciary and police affairs to take note and swing to action
“We want to hear from you, what happened to those that killed innocent Nigerians including those that happened in the past.

Lawan said a mere dismissal of overzealous and reckless operatives was not enough but that they must be made to face the full wrath of the law.
He said, “Those who are involved in the recent killings of innocent Nigerians should be arrested and prosecuted.
“Scrapping the SARS now may not be the best option because the nation may lose the best hands in the agency while trying to do away with the bad eggs among them.”
He also indicated that dismissal of the bad ones among them is not also enough adding that offenders must be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.”

“This is something that concerns our day to day lives and it is all over the country. I think that this is a situation that should be properly investigated.
“The recent incidents should not be just swept under the carpet. Those involved in the recent events should be arrested and prosecuted.”
“There are good people in all the security agencies just like there are bad people probably scrapping of agencies where we have mistakes may not be the solution but I think the rule of should be the guiding principle.
“You do the wrong thing, you face the consequences. Like some of us indicated there are good elements of SARS, they have been doing wonderful job also, so if you scrap SARS for example you lose those who are doing well to continue to do well.
“Anybody in SARS or any other security agency that commit excesses should be prosecuted and the law should take its full course.
“It is not enough to dismiss somebody from service what does the law says if you kill someone? This is not acceptable because it makes Nigeria a laughing stock.”

He said as representatives of the people they have the apparatus, jurisdiction and thw mandate to review the laws governing the operations and establishment of the agencies. “We should be able to look at the law establishing any agency and amend it to make it difficult for anybody to go committing infractions.”

“We need to know what happened it is not enough to stop the activities of SARS what happened to those that killed innocent Nigerians, if somebody is killed for violating the law it is a different thing but someone who is supposed to protect Nigerian kills a Nigerian without due course, I don’t know what the law provides probably he will have lose his life too.”
The senate further resolved to mandate the committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters to investigate human right abuses by the Nigerian security agencies.
It also urged the various security agencies to establish special hotlines to enable Nigerians report activities of their agents.
The senate also urged the various security agencies to establish a special Bureau that monitors the conduct of its officers, arrest and charges airing ones.

It also mandated the committee on police affairs to convene a stakeholders meeting to investigate implemention of the Nigerian police Trust Fund Act 2019.
It commended the inspector General of police for swift response as it urged him to review the objective behind the establishment of the tactical squad with a view to permanently restricting their interference on daily activities of Nigerians.
Earlier, sponsor of the motion, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC – Lagos Central), said that Nigeria, despite being a party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, still records the unabated brutality of Security operatives towards Nigerians.

The lawmaker expressed concern that, “Nigerian youth can no longer move freely for fear that they will be profiled and accused of being ‘yahoo boys’ or fraudsters, merely because they look good, own laptops, iPhones, nice looking cars, or profiled for having dreadlocks and certain hairstyles.

“Only recently, the global and social media was awash with the #EndSARS Campaign and stories of brutality of the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Response Squad.”

Tinubu added that “with more Nigerian youth being involved with software development, fintech and doing more remote jobs in ICT, profiling by Policemen is a major problem.”

She expressed worry that “despite assurances by the Inspector-General of Police in 2015 and 2017 that there would be reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Nigerians are daily, still being abducted and extorted, under duress, with no mechanism in place for complaints and resolution of same.”

According to the lawmaker, “SARS operations have degenerated into intimidation, harassment and extortion of innocent Nigerians.”

She noted that as a bye-effect of the fear of the Nigerian Police, Nigerians cannot report occurrence of crime to the police without being made to part with cash or fearing that they will be detained for the commission of the same offence they have come to report.

Contributing to the motion, Senator Adamu Aliero (APC – Kebbi Central) said, “what is currently going on is a violation of all conventional agreements that Nigeria has signed on fundamental human rights, and even a violation of our constitution.
“We should not allow this kind of thing to continue.

“Suffice to say that we can not afford extrajudicial killings in a constitutional democracy we are operating today. It should be condemned and nobody should be killed without a just cause.

“Let us go through the judicial process, let the Judiciary determine that a person has actually committed the offence and its beyond any reasonable doubt before a person can be killed.”

On his part, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC – Delta Central) said, “we have a Constitution which guarantees the privacy of our citizens, if nothing else, at least protects them until there’s a warrant for their arrest before they can be searched.

“But now these people have become more like extortionists taking money from people by going into their phones, not because they want to provide law enforcement, but they are looking for ways to force these people to part with money.”
He said extrajudicial killing by SARS is a serious matter that has assumed pandemic proportion.
He said activities of SARS was reported about a consultant of mine who was shot at.
“You cannot differentiate between SARS and armed robbers, you cannot differentiate them from law breakers. They are like extortionists. They force people to part with money and even threaten to take life.”
Senator Thompson Sekibo (Rivers PDP) said
SARS was established to stop robbery but there are more robbery at the moment meaning they are not doing their work.
“They are taking people’s lives and abusing human rights
They are agents of corruption, they must face their own functions.”
Senator Stella Oduah (Anambra PDP) said Police Trust Fund should be used to invest in ICT so that they could identify those using ICT for the wrong reasons.

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Abdulmalik presents 23 refurbished operational vehicles to security agencies in Kogi

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Abdulmalik presents 23 refurbished operational vehicles to security agencies in Kogi

By Ojochide Audu

In an effort to combat crime in the state, Chairman, Kogi State Security Trust Fund, Hon. Teina Abdulmalik, presents 23 refurbished operational vehicles, to Security Agencies in the State to enhance their operational efficiency in the fight against crime and criminality in Kogi State..


Making the presentation to the benefiting Agencies in Government House, Lokoja the Chairman, who was represented by the Public Relations Officer, Mallam, Aliyu Abubakar Musa, aknowledged the immense efforts and contributions of the Security Agencies to stem criminality in the State.
According to the Chairman, ” Kogi State has witnessed its fair share of criminal activities ranging from kidnapping, Cultism and communal crisis, but, our security agencies have been working round the clock to nip them in the bud.
” And with these vehicles, I know that they will do more in that regards. I urge them not to relent in their efforts in ridding the State of all forms of crime”
Abdulmalik, promised that, more operational vehicles would be procured for the security agencies and and appealing to them to ensure regular maintenance of the utility vehicles.
He thanked Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, for providing all the enablement to ensure the State Security Trust Fund achieve its mandates.
Speaking on behalf of the Security Agencies, the Comptroller of Correctional services, Kogi State Command Alhaji Ahmed Musa, lauded the proactive efforts of the Trust Fund, in curbing criminality in the State.
He reiterated the fact that they were motivated by the gesture to redouble their efforts in the fight against crime and pledged that, the vehicles would be maintained to help the government achieve the purpose for which they were meant for.

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Kogi State Police Command debunks reports that 18 Kano traders were Kidnapped in Kogi

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Kogi State Police Command debunks reports that 18 Kano traders were Kidnapped in Kogi

The Nigerian police Kogi State command has described as fake news reports that eighteen (18) traders from Kano travelling to Aba were kidnapped in Kogi State.

This was coming against the backdrop that the Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) had appealed to the Federal Government and security operatives to rescue its members, kidnapped along Okene-Auchi road in Kogi.
The President of the association, Alhaji Jamilu Abbas made the appeal in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
He indicated that 27 traders of Kantin Kwari Textiles Market in Kano were reportedly kidnapped by gunmen on their way to Aba town in Abia State.
Abbas explained that the traders left Kano for Aba for their legitimate businesses before they were kindnapped after Okene town in Kogi state.
He said the kidnapped traders, were from Kofar Wambai, Sabongari markets and some from Zamfara who joined those from Kantinkwari for the trip.
In a swift reaction the Kogi State Police Command indicated that no such incident occurred any where in Kogi State.
In a press statement that was signed by the command public relations officer DSP William Ovye Aya said the news of the purported kidnap of the 18 Kano traders in Kogi State is fake and capable of misleading the public on the Security situation in the State.
“It is pertinent to let the public know that, the Kogi State Police Command in collaboration with other Security agencies is determined to guarantee the protection of lives and property in the State.
“The Commissioner of Police Ede Ayuba Ekpeji urges members of the Press as well as social media handlers to always find out the true nature of incident and its location before publishing the story so as not to misinform the general public and create mistrust among the good people of Kogi State and Nigeria in general.”


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Association appeals to FG, security operatives to rescue kidnapped traders in Kogi

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Association appeals to FG, security operatives to rescue kidnapped traders in Kogi

By Mustapha Sumaila

The Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) has appealed to the Federal Government and security operatives to rescue its members, kidnapped along Okene-Auchi road in Kogi.

The President of the association, Alhaji Jamilu Abbas made the appeal in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

No fewer than 27 traders of Kantin Kwari Textiles Market in Kano were reportedly kidnapped by gunmen on their way to Aba town in Abia State.

Abbas explained that the traders left Kano for Aba for their legitimate businesses before they were kindnapped after Okene town in Kogi state.

He said the kidnapped traders, were from from Kofar Wambai, Sabongari markets and some from Zamfara who joined those from Kantinkwari for the trip.

“I am appealing to the government and security operatives to do everything possible to rescue our members unharmed.

“Though, the kidnappers have reached out to the families of the abductees demanding for N50 million ransom and they later came down to N27 million before they free all of them” he said (NAN)

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