The Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS is one of the 14 units in the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Nigeria Police force. The unit was established to detain, investigate and prosecute criminals like armed robbers, cultists and kidnappers. However, in recent times, SARS added the ‘picking up’ and harassing young and defenseless Nigerians to its duty. The unit has a long history of brutality, extortion, incrimination and murder.
In most cases, their victims are civilians within the age of 18-35 dressed in rip jeans, with tattoos and piercings, having iPhones in their possession or riding exotic cars.
Concerned Nigerians, including celebrities, social media influencers, clergymen, and Politicians have constantly taken to their various social media platforms, especially twitter, to kick against the incessant killings by the officers. The #Endsars, #enoughisenough, #waronsars hashtags were created to call for the scrapping or reform of the unit.
Young and promising Nigerians are reported at least once in a month to have been killed by these officers. ENewsNigeria has compiled a list of young Nigerians that have been killed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the last 10 months.
Talented footballer and former assistant captain of Remo Stars FC, Tiyamiyu Kazeem, was reported to have been killed by an officer of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS in February, 2020. Kazeem was said to be picked up in Sagamu, Ogun state, by the officers and mistaken for an internet fraudster “Yahoo boy”. Oladimeji Oshode, Remo Stars media officer, said SARS operatives allegedly pushed the footballer out of their moving vehicle before he was hit by an incoming one.
The lockdown directive which was given by the government in March as a measure of curtailing the Coronavirus outbreak seemed to put a hold on the operations of the unit . However, almost immediately the lockdown was eased, fresh reports of lives taken by the SARS operative started making headlines again.
Pa Rasheed Ayinla cried out for justice over the death of his son, Ismail Ayinla in August, 2020. SARS operatives allegedly robbed and shot dead Ismail in a hotel in Iwo town, Osun State. Ismail was said to have lodged in this hotel to pass the night before setting out to continue his journey the next day.
Young man, simply identified as Remi
There was another protest in Osun state in September following the death of a young man caused by SARS officers. SARS operatives allegedly pursued Remi alongside three others leading to an accident at East bypass, Osogbo in Osun state. Remi died on the spot.
Personnel of SARS allegedly raped and murdered Ifeoma Abugu, barely five days after her introduction. This happened while she was in detention at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in September 2020.
Again, youths in Rivers State, just about a week ago, took to the streets to protest the death of a young musician. SARS officers allegedly shot Daniel Chibuike, professionally known as, Sleek dead in the Elelenwo area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Unidentified Young Man
Yesterday, October 3, a team of SARS allegedly killed a young man in Wetland Hotel, Ughelli in Delta State. A video showing them speeding off in the victim’s vehicle – a white Lexus SUV, hit the internet.
The list is endless, however, these are some young Nigerians who have lost their lives.