A network of Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) has called for immediate removal of structures at various special anti robbery squads (SARS) unit of the Nigerian police used for torture of suspects.
The group said this should form part of police reform and make the institution abide by international treaty against torture as a means of extracting confessions.
Also the group had asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to visit various police formation to further determine the condition under which suspects are kept.
Speaking against the back drop of numerous complaints from victims of torture, the Network on police reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) said available information has made expedient for immediate abolition of such machineries used for torture in the country.
Addressing the media in Lagos at the weekend the national coordinator of NOPRIN Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma said the network in association with other global advocacy bodies have informed the Inspector 0general of Police (IGP) to order for the removal of the structures.
Nwanguma, said the notoriety of the practice by SARS has exposed the country to riddicle and that many Nigerians have in one way or the other be exposed to such in-human treatment.
He disclosed that NOPRIN’s report published in 2010 titled “Criminal Force” exposed the Awkuzu SARS operation in Anambra state which is now being used by politicians and other influential persons in the state to victimize their opponents.
Citing an example, he said in 2013, one chief Bonaventure Mokwe, his wife and workers were arrested and paraded as criminals by SARS Awkuzu, and while Mokwe was released the rest were severely tortured and held unlawfully for three months before they were charged to court and later granted bail.
“Investigations carried out by NOPRIN in mid January 2014 in Anambra state shockingly revealed that chief Mokwe and his workers were framed up with the purported murder of one Nnalue Okafor (23) and eventually charged to court after eighty one days in unlawful detention” he said.
Nwanguma further narrated the case of Justine Nwankwo a PHD student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
He said Justine narrated how he was tied with rope and suspended to a perimeter wall and a bag of sand added on his back to add more pains.
Nwanguma noted that heinous atrocities linked to SARS has made Nigeria to gain notoreity among committee of nations and called for its restructuring or disbandment.