The Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu has ordered all state commissioners of police to block Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) officers from accessing the public.
Nigerian Police Force boss Mohammed Adamu has ordered all state commissioners of police to ensure no officer and other insignia of the Special Anti-robbery squad is seen in public, Guardian NG report.
In the “police wireless message” dated October 12, 2020, seen by The Guardian, the state commissioners of police are to ensure “strict compliance” of the directive.
The directive came days after Adamu ordered the dissolution of the controversial unit. The new directive also confirms allegations that the SARS officers despite been disbanded are still on the streets harassing and brutalising Nigerians.
It is still unclear how soon the accused unit will be off the streets despite this new order.
Protesters, who clamored for the dissolution of the unit, have continued to protest noting the government’s ineffectual promises of police reforms and investigations in the past.
Just hours after Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday tried to assuage protesters by promising “extensive” reforms to stop the rising crisis of police brutality, another civilian was shot and killed by police during a protest in Surulere, Lagos State.
Since the protest began last Wednesday, the Nigerian branch of Amnesty International, in a tweet on Monday night, reported that 10 protesters have been killed, while others were severely injured, beaten, or arrested by police.
Investigation and prosecution of erring officers are the latest demands of the protesters with the standing demand that police brutality in the country must end.
With celebrities adding their voice to the #EndSARS hashtag, it jumped to the top global trend on Twitter and drew international support from UK-based footballers like Mesut Ozil and Marcus Rashford, musicians and actors.
Nigeria’s global superstars, Wizkid and Davido, who are also part of this generation of protesters, have been physically present in London and Abuja – where the latter’s presence stopped police officers from shooting at protesters.
The protests against the police have largely been organized on social media, fuelled by personal accounts of police abuses and videos of brutal incidents, including the beating of civilians and the firing of live ammunition at protesters.