Nigeria: Regardless of #EndSARS Protest, Police Brutality Persists

Nigeria: Regardless of #EndSARS Protest, Police Brutality Persists

Sunday Ehigiator writes that even because the ghost of the 2020 #EndSARS protest, that rocked the material of the nation, nonetheless hovers, police brutality nonetheless persists and has even exacerbated. Throughout the nation, current instances of such arbitrary abuse, violence and even loss of life have been unleashed by some recalcitrant policemen regardless of the fixed punishment meted out by the police authority for such offences

On December 25, 2022 (Christmas Day), a Lagos-based pregnant Lawyer, Omobolanle Raheem, was shot useless within the presence of her husband and kids by a police officer on a cease and search obligation underneath Ajah Bridge in Lagos state.

The mindless homicide of Omobolanle will not be an remoted occasion of police brutality in Nigeria. Nigeria has misplaced too many harmless residents to the actions of trigger-happy cops, with justice or an finish seeming to not be in sight.

These mindless killings amidst a number of different perceived injustices and corruption plaguing the nation, led the youth to come back out in mass to stage a protest tagged ‘EndSARS’ protest in opposition to police brutality and unhealthy management first in 2017 earlier than the extra notable one in October 2020.

The 2020 #EndSars Protest

#EndSARS is a decentralised social motion and collection of mass protests in opposition to police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan requires the disbanding of the Particular Anti-Theft Squad (SARS), a infamous unit of the Nigerian Police with an extended document of abuse on Nigerian residents.

SARS officers have been alleged to profile younger Nigerians, largely males, primarily based on trend decisions, tattoos and hairstyles. They had been additionally identified to mount unlawful roadblocks, conduct unwarranted checks and searches, arrest and detain with out warrant or trial, rape girls, and extort younger male Nigerians for driving unique automobiles and utilizing laptops and iPhones.

These tales and video proof of how officers of SARS engaged in kidnapping, homicide, theft, rape, torture, illegal arrests, humiliation, illegal detention, extrajudicial killings and extortion of Nigerian residents, had been extensively shared on Twitter area and different social media platforms, which trigger a burning outrage majorly among the many youthful populace, and thereby resulting in collection of protests.

The protest took its identify from the slogan began in 2017 as a Twitter marketing campaign utilizing the hashtag #EndSARS to demand the disbanding of the unit by the Nigerian authorities.

After experiencing a revitalisation in October 2020 following extra revelations of the abuses of the unit, mass demonstrations occurred all through the most important cities of Nigeria, accompanied by vociferous outrage on social media platforms.

The motion was notable for its patronage by a demographic that was manufactured from solely younger Nigerians. The motion later expanded to incorporate calls for for good and accountable governance, contemplating the unprecedented hardship within the nation.

Inside just a few days of protests, on October 11, 2020, the Nigerian Police Pressure introduced that it was dissolving the unit with rapid impact. The transfer was extensively obtained as a triumph of the demonstrations.

Nevertheless, it was famous in lots of quarters that related bulletins had been made lately to pacify the general public with out the unit being disbanded, and that the federal government had merely deliberate to reassign and overview SARS officers to medical centres reasonably than disband the unit solely.

The aftermath of the protest was the incident on the Lekki tollgate in Lagos State, the place the Nigerian Military was accused to have fired dwell ammunition at peaceable protesters on October 20, 2020, thereby killing some and injuring a number of others, an incident the present Minister of Info, Lai Muhammed described as a ‘cold bloodbath’.

Latest Instances of Police Brutality

With all of the damages, destruction, apprehension, unrest, fears, deaths on either side (civilian and police), authorized battles, and worldwide consideration that got here with the October 2020 occasions, one would anticipate that incidents of police brutality ought to develop into a factor of historical past.

Nevertheless, this appears to not be the case, as current reviews counsel that there appears to have been a surge of full-force police brutality in broad daylight with out concern of being captured on digital camera or reported.

Based on Human Rights Watch, a 12 months after the October 2020 incident, Nigeria recorded about 164 instances of extra-judicial killings between January and September 2021.

There seems to be no finish in sight to the highhandedness and brutality of residents by some members of the Nigeria Police Pressure.

On January 11, 2023, operatives of the Nigeria Police Pressure guarding the palace at Ilasan, Lekki Part 1 had been captured within the video assaulting a woman when she tried to document them throughout a dialog with an Uber driver. The woman’s telephone was seized and he or she was additionally arrested.

Responding to the incident, the spokesperson of the state police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin stated: “It’s not against the law to document a policeman on obligation so long as it doesn’t impede obligation.

“The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ilasan, waded in. He ensured the woman acquired her telephone again instantly and subjected the officers to disciplinary actions. The woman claimed she was injured, for which the officer was mandated to offset her medical bills. The woman went dwelling completely happy. I equally verified from her.”

On October 2021, a day set to recollect victims of police brutality, an Uber driver, Adedotun was crushed, brutalized, pepper-sprayed and forcefully dragged right into a black maria by operatives of the Nigerian Police Pressure through the #ENDSARS memorial which came about on the Lekki tollgate.

Whereas addressing pressmen, Adedotun stated he was in his automotive when he heard individuals shouting. He determined to run for canopy and left his automobile. He additional defined that on his approach again, attempting to find his automotive, some cops stopped him and began dragging and beating him.

Adedotun stated whereas he was struggling to forestall the operatives from pushing him into their van, they pepper-sprayed his eyes.

In March 2023, a cellular policeman, Sergeant Olalere Michael, killed a lady recognized as Miss Tosin, suspected to be his mistress, and later shot himself useless on faculty premises in Ilorin, Kwara State.

On April 21, 2023, some armed cops had been secretly filmed utilizing a machete to smack two unidentified individuals in Imo State.

Within the 45 seconds clip, 5 officers had been seen assaulting the 2 individuals in an open area whereas a sixth officer pulled out a machete from a parked SUV believed to be a police operational automobile.

The sixth officer was captured within the video, smacking the 2 individuals a number of occasions with the machete.

On April 6, 2023, there was stress in Asaba, Delta State capital, following the killing of a middle-aged businessman, recognized as Emmanuel Onyeka, by a police officer after the deceased reportedly refused to supply him an N100 bribe at a checkpoint.

The killing led to a critical protest within the capital metropolis, as residents condemned the dastardly act of the police officer. The deceased, recognized as Ibe Emmanuel Onyeka, was shot across the Ugbolu space throughout the Asaba metropolis.

The late Onyeka who’s in his early twenties was stated to be a telephone supplier on the well-liked Ogbogonogo Market, Asaba.

On December 25, 2022, a cop connected to the Ajah Police Station, recognized as an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Drambi Vandi, shot useless a 41-year-old pregnant lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, underneath the Ajah Bridge, within the presence of her husband and kids.

Raheem, her sister, and 4 youngsters had been stated to be coming from an eatery of their automotive round 11 am when the cop tried to cease them. Experiences famous that her husband was attempting to make a U-turn underneath the Ajah Bridge when the trigger-happy cop shot on the automobile. The bullet hit her and he or she was confirmed useless on the hospital she was rushed to.

Gafaru Buraimoh, a resident of Comfortable Property in Ajah, was hit by a stray bullet at about 10 pm whereas popping out of SkyMall on December 7, 2022, by a police inspector connected to the Ajah police station.

Reacting to the incident, spokesperson for the state police, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, stated, “At About 2330hrs (11:30p.m) of Tuesday, December 6, 2022, a capturing incident involving males of Ajah Division, resulted within the unlucky loss of life of Gafaru Buraimoh of Comfortable Land Property, Ajah.

“The officer behind the capturing, an inspector of police was instantly disarmed and has been detained as a full-scale investigation has commenced.” Nevertheless, the identification of the cops was not revealed.

It was learnt that the capturing that led to Buraimoh’s loss of life occurred throughout a raid of sellers of black market gas on the Ajiwe fuel station by the police. Nevertheless, hassle began when the cops tried to impound a black marketer’s gas however he allegedly resisted. “His resistance angered the officers who began capturing indiscriminately,” narrated Buraimoh’s brother, Muyideen.

The duo of Odinaka and Obieche had been two businessmen killed on April 24, 2022, by a drunken cop at a pal’s celebration in a resort bar on the Gowon Property in Lagos State.

The 2 businessmen who had been sellers in telephone equipment on the Ikeja Laptop Village had been hit by gunshots from a cop stated to be displaying off and attempting to impress the birthday host when mistakenly fired gunshots on the company who had been dancing.

Regardless of the promise of the Lagos police spokesperson that “these accountable is not going to go scot-free,” the promise did not see the sunshine of the day, as nobody has been prosecuted for the reason that incident.

On January 1, 2023, a policeman connected to the Katsina State Police Command shot useless two individuals. The incident was stated to have occurred within the Filin Kanada space of the state. Three youngsters additionally sustained gunshot accidents.

Koleosho Abayomi is a safety guard on the Lekki Peninsula Scheme II, within the Eti Osa Native Authorities Space of Lagos State. He was shot by a police officer imposing the ban on bike operations in Lagos on September 28. He was nevertheless lucky to have survived.

The cop, alongside three colleagues connected to the Ogombo Police Station, stormed the Lekki Peninsula Scheme II to implement the federal government’s ban on bike operations on the property when the incident occurred. Reacting to the incident, the state police spokesperson confirmed the incident, together with the cost of Abayomi’s hospital payments. The identification of the cop was nevertheless not revealed.

On January 22, 2022, Durowaiye was killed by a cop whose N20 sachet water he drank in Kogi State.

An eyewitness revealed that Durowaiye was alleged to have taken a sachet of “pure water” belonging to the policeman from the latter’s automotive to drink earlier than he met his premature loss of life.

Reacting to the event, Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, confirmed the incident, saying a preliminary report from the Space Commander indicated that the accused cop solely tried to defend himself when he had an altercation with the sufferer. Additionally, the identification of the killer cop was not revealed.

Godsent Obhafuoso was killed by a cop on August 13, 2022, through the burial of his grasp’s late mom within the Esan North East Native Authorities Space of Edo State.

Whereas the sufferer was reportedly doing a video recording of the occasion and helping his grasp to collect the cash being sprayed on him, the policeman allegedly fired gunshots which hit a cameraman and Obhafuoso, who was pronounced useless on the Irrua Specialist Instructing Hospital.

Although the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, confirmed the incident, the policeman concerned had but to be delivered to guide and the household of the sufferer was looking for the assistance of the Inspector Common of Police, Usman Baba, for his prosecution.

Oliver Ezra Barawani, a graduate of Taraba State College, was driving together with his boss, Liu, an LG chairman, earlier than he was killed by a policeman on June 4, 2022.

Based on a Fb person, Abainitus Hamman, the sufferer was allegedly shot by a cop at a checkpoint in Kpanti Napo close to Jalingo.

He wrote, “Oliver Ezra Gone too quickly! He was shot by a police officer at a checkpoint in Kpanti Napo, close to the town of Jalingo. Till his loss of life, he was a graduate of Taraba State College.

“Oliver Ezra was brutally killed for nothing. He was driving alongside the chief chairman of Lau LGA between Lakaviri and Jalingo. He was unarmed, harmless, and calm. Nigerian Police brutality has continued unabated! As a substitute of them coping with the rising criminals in society, they kill harmless Nigerians.”

The state police neither reacted to the incident nor revealed the identification of the killer cop.

On Might 27, 2022, Emmanuel Joseph, an All Progressives Congress Ward Seven youth chief in Calabar South, Calabar State, was killed by a trigger-happy police officer.

The incident occurred on the venue of the occasion’s major, Cultural Centre, Calabar. The incident began when Saviour Nyong and Deputy Speaker of the Cross River State Home of Meeting, Joseph Bassey, who had been the 2 main aspirants, arrived on the venue with their supporters.

The 2 aspirants started to alternate phrases and threatened themselves in a rowdy method resulting in the invitation of the Anti-cultism/Kidnapping officers who got here and began firing bullets. Joseph was stated to have been shot immediately within the chest by a cop suspected to be the commander of the unit.

A supply stated after he was shot, the officer allegedly threw teargas canisters to disperse the individuals, lined the bloodstains on the bottom with sand, and fled together with his corpse into their workplace. On this case, additionally, the police didn’t react to the incident nor disclose the cop’s identification.

On Might 23, 2022, a Journalist, Toba Adedeji, was overlaying a protest when he was shot by a trigger-happy policeman in Osogbo, Osun State.

A bunch of youth had converged on a bridge within the Olaiya space of the town to protest in opposition to the alleged extrajudicial killing of a youth by a policeman.

The protesters reportedly blocked the highway and prevented vehicular motion, chanting protest songs and demanding justice for the sufferer whose funeral was being carried out.

About half-hour into the protest, cops reportedly stormed the scene and shot into the group and journalists overlaying the protest to disperse them. The state police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, stated the Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, had ordered an investigation into the circumstances that led to the alleged capturing of Adedeji.

On July 11, 2022, Emeka Uwalaka, a Nationwide Diploma Civil Engineering scholar of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, was shot by a policeman connected to the Nekede Police Division.

Uwalaka was stated to be coming back from church that Sunday afternoon when the cop shot at him with the bullet hitting the scholar’s hostel (BenJen lodge) gate in Umuokomoche, Owerri West Native Authorities Space of Imo State. Nevertheless, the police did not launch any press assertion on the incident.

Stand of CSOs

Chatting with THISDAY on why there’s a surge in police brutality, the Government Director, of Centre Towards Injustice and Home Violence (CAIDOV), Gbenga Soloki stated, “There’s a surge in police brutality owing to a number of causes

“Firstly, the mode of recruitment of cops and males, the method will not be clear and due diligence will not be adopted. Some checks are usually not carried out on these being enlisted into the police pressure. A number of the cops and males purchase their approach into the system, and they’re going to need to recoup their cash by all means, and in any respect price.

“The police would not have satisfactory data of a few of these enlisted. The mode of self-discipline within the service will not be tidy sufficient to discourage others. A scenario the place a police officer that has dedicated a grievous crime in opposition to a civilian is simply dismissed solely, will not function a deterrent.

“Stiffer penalty must be meted to erring cops. Human rights programs must be included of their curriculum. And stern monitoring of police actions each within the places of work and on the highway must be adequately thought of.”

Additionally talking with THISDAY, the Government Director of Rule of Legislation and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Okechukwu Nwanguma, stated, “I believe that we have to go deeper in our evaluation of the foundation causes of police violence, brutality and misconduct.

“If two years, going to a few years after #EndSARS and the devastating aftermath and impression on police-citizens relations, police brutality has continued on a big scale as we discover each day, then there are classes which are but to be discovered particularly by the political management, particularly the chief and legislative arms of presidency.

“The Structure provides the chief arm the accountability for the police. Police reform appears to not be yielding the specified outcome and results as a result of the federal government has not mustered the political will to implement the proposed far-reaching reforms that ought to change the philosophical and operational doctrines of the Police.

“The fruits of the efforts to modernise and democratise the police by means of the overview of the colonial Police Act are but to ripe and be harvested. The Nigeria Police continues to be successfully underneath the political management of the president and the ruling occasion who don’t adjust to the Structure and the Police Act within the administration and management of the Police.

“The funds appropriated yearly by the legislature for the police, other than being grossly inadequate to fulfill the fundamental wants of the police, are additionally not absolutely attending to the police and the little that finally will get to the police are usually not being accounted for.

“No person is held chargeable for the mismanagement of funds meant for police coaching, tools, operations and investigation. How a lot does a DPO get quarterly to run operations on the divisions? Do not you already know that almost all police checkpoints are set as much as generate income and people checkpoints most occasions transform avenues for police harassment and extrajudicial killings?

“Have a look at the instance of the mismanagement of funds by the administration of the Police Belief Fund for which the ICPC commenced an investigation and by no means concluded it two years down the road. Calls on the ICPC to make public its investigation report and findings have been ignored. The identical indicted administration of the NPTF has been reappointed by President Buhari who claims to be the champion of anti-corruption.

“When the Nationwide Meeting appropriates extra funds to themselves and for a number of different unnecessary, wasteful functions than the funds appropriated for the Nigeria Police; when the welfare of cops will not be made a precedence to the extent that other than poor pay, officers additionally complain of being owed arrears of so long as six months; when the police would not have funds, tools and instruments to hold out investigation and but, are underneath stress to carry out, they’re made liable to corruption and violence. Can we then have to go far to know why police brutality persists?

“When the police are unable to professionally and successfully perform investigations attributable to poor resourcing and capability deficits, and subsequently must safe nearly all of convictions by means of confession (that means torture), why is it obscure why police brutality persists?

“The bottom is just made fertile for police brutality in Nigeria. And except the federal government commits to enhancing policing sources, operational capabilities and welfare, which implies to radically humanise the police, corruption and violence will persist.”


Based on Human Rights Watch, a 12 months after the October 2020 incident, Nigeria recorded about 164 instances of extra-judicial killings between January and September 2021. There seems to be no finish in sight to the highhandedness and brutality of residents by some members of the Nigeria Police Pressure

A scenario the place a police officer that has dedicated a grievous crime in opposition to a civilian is simply dismissed solely, will not function a deterrent. Stiffer penalty must be meted to erring cops. Human rights programs must be included of their curriculum. And stern monitoring of police actions each within the places of work and on the highway must be adequately thought of

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