Despite the supposed ban on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an arm of the Nigeria Police Force, some of their officers are still parading the Ikorodu area of Lagos state to harass the youth because of their physical appearance.
At 3pm on Wednesday, these officers who claimed to be from Ijede Police station accosted Subomi Shotayo and his friend on their way home because one of them had dreadlocks and the other uses an iphone.
Subomi’s brother, Joshua, who coincidentally met his brother at the scene and decided to stop over, told FIJ that the officers also threatened to shoot him when he challenged their illegal detention.
“As I was coming from work at Okota, I saw my brother and his friend in their (SARS) vehicle close to the house, so I decided to find out why they were being arrested,” he said.
“Instead of giving me a chance to speak with my brother, the SARS officers insisted on checking my bag and taking me to their station for further search. When I declined to follow, one of them threatened to fire me with his gun.”
After much controversy, the police officers took the detainees to a Point Of Sale (POS) at Igbe-laara on Ijede road to withdraw N46,000 from Subomi’s account.
FIJ learnt that these officers have been operating in that axis since February using a private Toyota Corolla car.
Muyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos Police Public Relations, told FIJ that it is illegal for any police officer to operate in mufti or identify himself as a SARS officer.
“Any policeman parading himself as SARS officer or dressed in mufti is illegal, criminal and unprofessional,” he said.
“SARS is no longer in existence in Lagos or anywhere in Nigeria and no police officer is allowed to operate in mufti. Enough is enough! Some of us cannot be working hard to get things better while some are disguising as SARS.”
“We are encouraging Nigerians to get them on record and send in evidence to nail them. We will deal with them according to the provisions of the law.”
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