HURIWA Slams New IGP’s Special Intervention Squad

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Sunday, tackled the newly appointed Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun over the establishment of a Special Intervention Squad to be deployed to the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, described the Special Intervention Squad as another killer squad rebranded after the manner of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the repackaged Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT).

The group cautioned the new IGP, who said there is a tiger in him, not to be overzealous but be very circumspect and build up strategies and implement them to coordinate the rebuilding process of the Nigeria Police Force in Nigeria and in the entire South-East geopolitical zone.

HURIWA warned IGP Egbetokun not to establish another Squad that would be synonymous with unlawful cum extrajudicial killings, torture, and extortion like the notorious SARS.

The group said Nigeria is yet to recover from the numerous atrocities committed by men of the disbanded SARS and the rebranded SWAT teams. According to data by global rights group, Amnesty International, at least 115 citizens in the South-East were brutally killed by SARS operatives within four months whilst the group was in existence. The several cases of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, organ trafficking, mass arrest, torture, extortions, and ill-treatment have not stopped despite the disbandment of SARS.

HURIWA Slams New IGP's Special Intervention Squad
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    HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “IGP Olukayode Egbetokun should be circumspect, especially with his establishment of a Special Intervention Squad which may turn another killer squad by police like the one that caused 2020 nationwide protests. This is unacceptable.

    “The IGP shouldn’t be overzealous.  Let him be very circumspect, and reflect before jumping to create media sensationalism. Police are burdened by corruption, bribery, gross indiscipline, lack of proper training, poor facilities, and unreliable statistical data. The IGP should build up strategies and implement them to solve these teething problems first.

    “The police is nonexistent in the South East due to the activities of unknown gunmen and ex-Niger Delta agitator, Asari Dakubo made a suspicious statement which links him to the phenomenon of unknown gunmen in the South East but IGP is afraid of Dokubo to arrest him.

    “Dokubo said his armed mercenaries are in active operations against those he called bandits all across the Country including the South East of Nigeria.  He said it was his armed mercenaries that are killing bandits and not soldiers. What does he mean by these statements if not a nexus between his mercenaries and the so-called unknown gunmen?

    Read Also: HURIWA Seeks Arrest of Asari Dokubo for Illegal Firearms

    “The IGP should coordinate the police rebuilding process in the South East, build up the intelligence department which is lacking. These are rational objectives than chasing shadows with the superfluous plot to set up a unit within the police. Egbetokun is chasing shadows and failing to pay attention to the issues that matter.”

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