SARS Killing In Oyo: Murderous Officers Must Be Brought To Book - RIFA

The Murderous Officers Must Be Brought To Book

Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) are saddened by the gruesome murder of a young Nigerian; Mr Abdullateef in Sepeteri, Saki-East Local Government, Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State on October 16, 2019 allegedly by some murderous officers of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who were reported to have shot the innocent young man on the fateful day.

The wicked officers as gathered from the community leaders by RIFA confirmed that when they heard about the attack, they contacted the local government Divisional Police Officer (DPO) who denied that his officers operated in the town.

Thereafter, it was reported that the community went to Igboho and searched all public and private hospitals for the whereabout of the SARS victim after their attempt to get him in Sepeteri failed.

Following their inability to locate the victim there, the community was then said to have gone to Igboho DPO who also was said to be unavailable but was later found at Igbeti Area Commander’s office.

At the Area Commander’s office, it was reported that the community representatives were directed and led to DPO Igbeti by the Area Commander who briefed them on the condition of the deceased.

The innocent deceased as confirmed to RIFA by a key community leader in the town was just moving on the street along Old Oyo National Park road when he was arrested and charged to pay unspecified amount, an allegation said to be common with the notorious SARS officers in the area.

Even as at Monday October 21, 2019 while RIFA representative was returning along the routes from Sepeteri to Igbo-Ora road, SARS officers were still visible on the road extorting road users.

RIFA also gathered that the SARS officers were scary of Sepeteri people after their cruel action. So, they couldn’t treat the victim in any nearby hospital that was why they took the deceased to Igbeti; a distance of about 70km which worsened the deceased’s gun wound that culminated into his death.

RIFA gathered the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State; Mr Shina Olukolu was in Sepeteri on Friday 18 October, 2019 over the incidence. In a message by RIFA on the issue to the Oyo State Police Public Relation Officer; Mr Olugenga Fadeyi on Friday October 18, 2019 which was replied, he acknowledged the incidence took place and that investigation has commenced.

However, On Monday 21 October 2019 he could not confirm the report from the Community leader that some suspects have been arrested and detained at Iyaganku Police Station, Ibadan but he was able to affirm that stakeholders would be briefed by Oyo State Police Command when adequate information is available.

RIFA urge the Police to ensure justice is served as Nigeria tax payers cannot be paying security operatives to kill civilians and that since the criminals who have tendency of committing crime which made them to join police should be weeded out with alacrity to send strong signals to others with similar intent.

SARS Killing In Oyo: Murderous Officers Must Be Brought To Book - RIFA
Mr Abdulateef (The Victim)

RIFA noted that it was on Monday October 7, 2019 that the Oyo State governor and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly were informed by the organization, among other issues, of excesses of security agencies especially Police officers in Oyo State.

The latest alleged murderous act of some cruel officers of SARS further confirmed the association stance that police in Oyo State parade mostly criminals who are supposed not to be in Nigeria Police. As a result, the Association call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly leadership, the Inspector-General of Police, the Police Service Commission and benevolent Nigerians to ensure the blood-thirsty officers that took the innocent life of Mr Abdullateef are made to face full wrath of the law while other criminals in police uniforms should also be fished out and dealt with accordingly.

This is because SARS officers have been committing heinous crimes in Oyo State for long without caution. A hotel attendant; Mr Samuel Ogundeji in Shaki was once allegedly turned blind by SARS brutality for an unfounded pilferage at the hotel he was working in Shaki, while many other residents have gone missing after SARS invasion in many parts of the State, reports alleged.

The Police in Oyo State should also ensure SARS comply with presidential directive banning SARS officers from illegal activities especially extortion and molestation of residents and road users which is now rampant in Oyo State arguably than any other state in Nigeria.

In fact, SARS officers are simply mostly symbol of lawlessness in Oyo State as most of them engage in illegal activities unknown to the laws and rules under which they operate.

The Governor as the Chief security officer of the state should act decisively by halting assassination of citizens and residents he was elected to protect and promote their interests by restraining lawless security officers from displaying unprofessional conduct henceforth in the state.

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There is no law in the land which grants anybody right to terminate the life of others unjustly. Therefore, the culpable police officers involved in the gruesome murder of a confirmed useful and humble youth should be made to face the music.

The Nigeria Police authority should act swiftly by revealing the criminals in its midst as justice delayed may be justice denied and disown such bad eggs before subjecting them to appropriate sanctions. Only then can the nation be guaranteed that police is friend of the people.

Luqman Soliu
Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)

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