By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Tuesday in Abuja issued a stern warning to security operatives against the use of life bullets on the #EndSARS protesters across the states of the federation.
The association warned that the use of live bullets on innocent and unarmed citizens will aggravate the already tense atmosphere in the country as occasioned by alleged police brutality.
National President of the association, Mr. Olumide Akpata, at a Press Conference in Abuja canvased that the policemen already indicted for brutality against the citizenry must be dismissed from the services of the police.
He said that this has become important so as to demonstrtate good faith and commitment towards ensuring accountability, restoring confidence, and sanitising the system.
Akpata announced that the NBA will make its human and other resources available to the independent investigation panel to be established by police and the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the violations of human rights by the disbanded SARS and other segments of the Nigerian Police.
Besides that, the NBA demanded an expedited audit of the various SARS detention centers across the country, especially the notorious detention facilities in Awkuzu in Anambra state, the infamous human abattoir in Abuja and others in Lagos, Port Harcourt and other parts of the country.
The Bar also demanded an immediate audit of the detainees in the detention camps with a view to ensuring that all Nigerians unjustly and unlawfully clamped into detention are immediately released, whoie those who have cases to answer must be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
The NBA chief promised that the association will work with Chief Magistrates or designated Magistrates across the country to pay monthly visits to police stations and other detention facilities within thier territorial divisions to ensure arraignment of suspects or grant them bail in line with the newly enacted Police Act..
“Our nation has in the last couple of days witnessed a mass action by Nigerian citizens mostly the youth against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police.
“The protests are precipitated by years of brutality and professional misconduct by operatives of this particular police unit who have for too long derailed from the core mandates of their establishment and have become threats to the same citizens that they were meant to protect in line with the general mandate of the police under the Nigerian Constitution
” We demand that police service commision should live up to its responsibilities by speedly looking into complaints against the police for abuse or misuse of power. This is important to ensure that the relationship between the public and the police is one of trust and confidence instead of suspicion and indifference.”
Akpata further promised that the NBA will set up a Reform Team that will work with police and other institutions in developing a comprehensive blueprint for police reforms in Nigeria.