5 Victims Of Nigerian Police And SARS Brutality In 2019

The Nigerian Police and SARS brutality is one of several forms of police misconduct which involves undue violence by police officers. Widespread police brutality exists in many countries and territories, even those that prosecute it and although illegal, it was and is performed under the colour of law.
The Police form and its units are supposed to be law enforcement agencies who should guide and guard lives and properties of the Nigerian citizens, but over a year and half now, the SARS officers went rouge, beating, harassing and molesting the Nigerian youths especially. They have been accused of extortion, robbery, intimidation and extra-judicial killings on social media and through various public demonstrations for and against the continued existence of the dreaded anti-crime unit of the Nigeria Police Force.
March 2019 recorded the most number of reported killings by this department of the Nigerian police in the country and citizens seem to be in a very helpless situation.
ikorodu residents boo sars officialsThe brutality increased as the rate of cyber crimes increased in the country and this left every young man carrying a laptop or having dread locks a suspect of Yahoo Yahoo. One had to work on the streets of Nigeria with so much care and caution so as not to be apprehended. Females were the most saved and the male folks, were mostly victimised.
As the year comes to an end tonight, we bring you a list of some Nigerians who were victims of the SARS and Police brutality and harassment.
1. Bus Driver: It happened on the 2nd of  March when some trigger-happy police officers reportedly shot an unidentified bus driver dead in Mosan, Ayobo area of Lagos for refusing to part with money. According to an eye witness, the officers were trying to collect money from the unidentified driver, but he did not give them and this got one of them to shoot him. When they confirmed him dead, they tried to flee but were stopped by an angry mob. “The bus conductor and other passers-by chased them and were able to catch two of the officers. We held them and were trying to force them to carry the corpse to their station“, the eye witness said.
Two weeks after the bus driver’s demise, a teenage girl was killed by a stray bullet in a shootout between policemen and some cultists in Ikorodu.
2. Ademola Moshood: On March 25, an Okada rider was shot dead in Kilo, Surulere area of Lagos. Ademola was said to be a few blocks away from his house when he was shot by an officer attached to Soloki Police Station, Surulere.
3. Kolade Johnson: Kolade Johnson, was murdered on Sunday, March 31 by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who had visited his area in an unmarked commercial bus to arrest one of the boys of a major music producer who was wearing dreadlocks. The Nigerian Police Force confirmed the incidence, claiming that the victim was shot during a Nigeria’s anti-cultism police unit raid. Members of the unit were said to be searching for a suspect and at one point fired into the air, Johnson’s family and lawyer had told CNN. The 36-year-old father and a friend were leaving a soccer viewing centre in the area, where they had gone to watch a Premiership league match when a stray bullet hit and killed Johnson, his family and lawyer said. Johnson died at the hospital while waiting for treatment, according to his sister Toluwani Lukman. Coming under various trending hashtags that include: Kolade Johnson, #EndSARSNow #PoliceReforms #EndPoliceBrutality and #JusticeForKolade, the discussion generated scathing remarks on the police action, with celebrities joining in the conversion to condemn the killings.
Kolade Johnson
READ:  New Video: Zlatan Follows Up Quick On "My Life" Single Ft DJ Manuel With A Visual
4. Kofi Bartels: Kofi is a Port-Harcourt based journalist with Nigeria Info who took to Twitter to share the ordeals he suffered from the  Special Anti-Robbery Squad department of the Nigerians Police Force. According to him, he had seen some SARS officers manhandling a boy while trying to arrest him on 5th June, and he went to plead with them only to meet his waterloo too. “Yesterday, I was driving in my area and saw SARS officers beating up a boy who lives in the area. His mum fries akara for a living and I knew immediately that they wouldn’t be able to ‘settle’ the officers. He kept shouting, ‘What have I done’, as they tried to force him into their bus. They were beating the hell out of him and don’t know if he would have survived. I made to go plead with them but at a point hesitated and chose to take a shot of the bus and number plate.
When they noticed what he was doing, the cops left the boy and pounced on him in what he described as ‘the beating of his life’. “They started by smashing my knees repeatedly with wooden bars. As I type this, my left knee is swollen and my right knee seriously bruised. I have pains in my head, neck and back. I was handcuffed like a common criminal and shots were fired to disperse a small crowd that had gathered. After a second round of beating, I was taken to SARS HQ in Port Harcourt where I was beaten more mercilessly by the SARS officers who took me there. About three others also joined in. They are took turns to slap, punch, and kick me while I was struggling with a swollen knee. At least six officers, one at a time. One swore he would have ‘wasted’ me if his team were the one that picked me up.
Bartel on hospital bed after the beating from F-SARS officers
READ:  It's Not Too Late To Get It Right - Tayo Adeleye Reveals As He Ties The Knot
I was told to get ready to be thrown into their cell where I would receive the worst torture, including sexual abuse by male inmates. I was saved at the last minute when word got to their former boss and they were ordered to release me unconditionally.  The pains were unbearable last night and I’ll have to go for a skull and knee X-ray today. A couple of them told me to watch my back, saying this is my end in Rivers State, due to the human rights issues we treat on radio involving SARS and the police generally. My phones were seized and I had no way of communicating with anyone. Several times, I’ve had to use my media platform to shout on behalf of the voiceless in our society who have had their rights trampled upon by people meant to protect them. I got my own first hand experience yesterday. Some of the officers made me know how they felt about that…. literally“, he tweeted.
Read also: Shocker! Rapper Ikechukwu Reveals He Was Kidnapped By SARS Operatives And Drained Of His ATM Balance
5. The last but not the least on this list is this video below of a battle between SARS officers and the young man as it surfaced on Twitter. According to reports, the SARS officers had seen him on the street and harassed him, asking that he handed his phone over. The young man was adamant saying they have no right to demand his phone and we guess you know what happened next. Watch for yourself…

There are so many other victims, ranging from celebrities to other people who are mainly looking for their daily bread. While many shared their sad tales, there may be any others who didn’t live to explain what they have been through. From all of the cases ever heard, one certain thing is that the SARS are just drunken with power and take advantage of Nigerians in their dealing. Even for an offence as minute as can ever be, or worst still, for a mere situation of walking around the streets with dreads or a laptop, the SARS officials go extra-mile and the lives of Nigerians, which they were supposed to protect anyway, does not mean a thing to them. It even gets messier and more annoying that they accuse innocent people and demand for money or bribe they can’t get as salaries in two months. The level of corruption in Nigeria so aids and abet them in their dealings that they will make a mountain out of an ant hill if anyone dares challenge them or refuse to pay, in the stead of negotiating.
The brutality of the SARS department had not only become a thing of concern in Nigeria but has gone across the shores of the Giant of Africa and it is saddening that the government seems not to have noticed the brutality nor heard the cries of the people. The Amnesty International (AI) had lambasted the Squad (SARS) and the Federal Government, with emphasis on the nonchallant attitude of the Government.  AI noted that the call to scrap SARS and reform the police had not been taking seriously and efforts put in place by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had failed. It also blamed the the Nigerian judiciary for failing to punish the police torture. Specifically, the human rights group said the reforms Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo initiated during the heat of the campaign against SARS are not working.
It will be a new year in a matter of hours and we hope that the government looks into this. Whether they do or not, it is out duty as citizens to protect one another, standing up for the other person where necessary and endeavouring to avoid the SARS.Photos Credit: Getty

Leave a Reply