Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force, has disagreed with a citizen who alleged some operatives he identified as ‘reformed SARS’ extorted N10,000 from him.
SARS is the acronym for the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Adejobi urged the complainant to reach out directly to him on the matter while he clarified there was no such thing as ‘reformed SARS’
“Reformed SARS? What is the meaning of that?, he quipped.
“SARS has gone and has gone forever pls. Maybe another name. But can u identify them? I will then take it up,” Adejobi said in his response to the tweep.
The complainant, who tweeted under the handle, @Smath68, alleged police operatives harassed and extorted N10,000 from him in Owerri, Imo state.
“Sir, I was harrass today in owerri by the men of the new reform SARS squad and they extorted N10,000 from me after hours of begging and standing on the road. “They now terrorize anyone driving private cars. Imagine them saying they will shot if you try to question them why stop you,” the citizen tweeted at the police boss.
Another tweep, @DeeNero56, corroborated the complainant. He said similar unlawful activities by police operatives take place in Benin, Edo state.
“Here in Benin, some Tactical squad like PUFF HARDER, CRACK SQUAD; they will stop you, search you … even if they find nothing on u, they will do anything to delay you until they drag you to station and end up pressuring to accept what you not!”, he alleged.
TheCornet reports that the defunct special police unit, SARS gained notoriety for committing human right abuses, extra-judicial killings, torture, extortion, corruption, among others.
The activities of the infamous police unit led to nationwide protest–EndSARS– against police brutality.
The protest led to killings of both civilian protesters and police operatives, and burning of police stations, private property and public infrastructure.
Following the melee, the federal government inaugurated panels of inquiries on police brutality across the country.