The officers and men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), have struck again, this time abducting and torturing the cousin of a Nigerian soldier fighting Boko Haram in the North-East.
The soldier took to social media to share his pain, alleging that the young man was picked up alongside other young men around 8:20pm and taken into custody. The young man was charged with being a ‘yahoo’ boy by the Police officers who abducted them; the charge was later changed to cultism and tortured them in an attempt to get them to pay money for their freedom.
On hearing about the incident, the mother of the deceased went to the station to inquire what had happened to her son and she was told to source for 60,000 Naira to collect her son. All appeals by the woman to the police that she couldn’t raise that amount of money fell on deaf ears as they threatened to lock her up if she doesn’t come up with the money.
After running around for the money which she managed to gather on the third day, she was told her son had been handed over to the anti-cultism squad where she discovered that her son had been tortured to death.
The soldier wrote on twitter,
“While I was busy fighting for the peace of my country #SARS were busy torturing my cousin till death. Got shocking news entering my town now. I think am done with this country”.
Amnesty International has recorded an upsurge in human rights abuses by men of the Nigerian police force since 2015, a charge which the Police Force continues to deny in the face of overwhelming evidence against the once elite group.
SARS was originally created to deal with serious armed robbery situation which the regular police couldn’t handle. It was successful in the beginning being composed of highly disciplined officers who took their work seriously. These days however, the unit seems to have thrown morality and discipline out the window as they oppress the people they are meant to protect.
Members of SARS stand accused on a daily basis by the general public of harassment, abductions, murder, torture, extortion and even armed robbery; charges that have been repeatedly and consistently denied by the police force again in the face of overwhelming evidence.