Following the myriad of alleged human right abuses by officers and men of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Port Harcourt based lawyer, Barr. Chimezie Otuonye; says the first step to address the issues is to identify the real problem of the unit under the Nigeria Police Force.
Barr. Otuonye in a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, said Federal Government was in a hurry to replace SARS with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), adding that it was too hasty.
“Why should the Federal Government be in a hurry to set up SWAT.? In fact, it is a wrong decision. Scrapping SARS and replacing it with SWAT is a negative move. Replacing SARS with SWAT is like an insult to us. There is need to consult people and retired police and army personnel as well as relevant stakeholders,” Barr. Otuonye added.
He stated that there was nothing wrong with the unit known as SARS except the behavior and attitude of officers and men who run and manage the unit, stressing the need for attitudinal change and psychological evaluation among the police officers.
He maintained that the SARS unit can still operate if there is a comprehensive reform, pointing out that the role of the police is almost the same around the world.
He expressed satisfaction with the unflinching support the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike led administration has given to the police through the donation of Hilux operational vehicles.
He urged the victims of SARS to seek justice through due process and appropriate channel.