Video clips have surfaced on Twitter showing an angry mob confronting some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) at Computer Village, a popular IT accessories market in Lagos.
Public outrage had recently trailed the police department after some of its officials were alleged to have gunned down a young man, who was commuting around Ugheli town of Delta state, while fleeing with his vehicle.
As a result of this, Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), had banned SARS from undertaking routine patrols and search duties.
Many public figures also called for protest using the ‘EndSARS’ hashtag on Sunday.
On Monday, videos surfaced showing traders in the market shooing some armed SARS operatives away from their shops. While the policemen attempted to calm the situation, many others can be heard screaming, “We don’t want SARS”.
A source who spoke to TheCable Lifestyle said the operatives attempted to make an arrest despite the IGP’s order.
He said one of the officers later fired gunshot in the air to disperse the traders who attempted to prevent the arrest.
— 져져ㅓㅏㅇ (@theOdumodu) October 5, 2020
Announcing the restriction on SARS, Frank Mba, a spokesperson of the police, had said: “They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, and violent crimes when the need arises.
“The IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through any indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops, and other smart devices.
“He condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some personnel of the Squads,” the force public relations officer said.
“He has therefore ordered the X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of Tactical Squads and other police officers on the road.
“They are to ensure prompt arrest, investigation, and prosecution of all erring police officers who violate these directives and other extant regulations of the Force.”
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