Nigeria Senate to probe police brutality allegations


Lawmakers in the upper house of Nigeria’s parliament voted to launch an investigation into alleged acts of brutality by a police specialist unit.

The move follows a social media campaign calling for the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to be scrapped. The campaign, which has gathered pace in the last few days, sees people sharing stories of alleged maltreatment by the unit’s officers.

Nigeria’s police force has been dogged by allegations of human rights abuses for years. It has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The Senate said lawmakers on a security committee would consider the SARS claims.
“The committee has been mandated to look into allegations of human rights abuses raised by the general public, make relevant recommendations and include it in its final report,” the Senate said in a statement posted on its official Twitter feed.

The inspector general, who heads the Nigeria Police Force, announced an immediate reorganisation of SARS nationwide. He ordered an “investigation into all allegations, complaints and infractions” levelled against the unit.

Ibrahim Idris, the police chief, said the division was responsible for a “drastic reduction” in armed robberies, kidnappings and cattle rustling nationwide.