The Nigerian Bar Association on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to show sincerity in its disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by throwing all detention centres of SARS open.
The NBA president, Mr Olumide Akpata, who made the call at a press conference in Abuja, listed some of the SARS’ infamous detention centres in the country as Abuja “human abattoir” as well as the squad’s detention centres in Lagos and Port Harcourt.
He called for a comprehensive audit of all detention centres of the disbanded squad to take stock of detainees.
The NBA made the call on Tuesday as the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said he had set up the Special Weapons and Tactics Team that would replace the disbanded SARS.
Recall that the IGP on Sunday disbanded SARS following protests by youths, who alleged high-handedness and extortion by the squad.
The NBA president, who warned security agents against attacking anti-SARS campaigners, said the association would provide legal support for protesters.
Akpata said the association had set up a platform, firstname.lastname@example.org, for submission of complaints by members of the public.
According to him, the FG should throw SARS’ detention centres open to prove that the squad has been truly disbanded.
He said mere pronouncements of the disbandment of SARS would not put an end to protests against police brutality.
“What is key now is sincerity,” Akpata said while answering a question on what the government needed to do to end the protests.
He added, “First and foremost, the issue to address is that the issue of detention centres of SARS around the country where people are detained for alleged offences. They should be addressed.
“As a mark of good faith, and good disclosure, it will be important for the police to throw open these centres just to convince us that not only has SARS been disbanded, but also that indeed its activities have been brought to an end.”
Akpata also said the public must see that culpable SARS operatives were either disciplined or prosecuted depending on the degrees of allegations established against them.