The inspector general of police Mohammed Adamu has ordered the disbandment of satellite offices of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across Nigeria.
Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigations Department Peter Ogunyonwo made the announcement during a courtesy visit to the family of late Remo Stars Sports Club player Tiamiyu Kazeem in Sagamu area of Ogun State.
“It is those (SARS) satellite offices that IG has ordered that should be disbanded immediately,” Ogunyonwo said.
“For example, there’s one in Ikorodu. From what we heard, there’s another one in Ijebu-Ode; there’s another one in Obada Oko from where officers came to cause this mayhem. So, all have been disbanded with immediate effect and the CPs have been ordered to take over such offices.”
In recent times, the Nigeria police have come under criticism by members of the public due to persistent extra-judicial killing, extortion, illegal arrest and harassment of citizens by officers attached to the SARS unit of the police.
On Saturday, February 22, SARS operatives arrested the late Kazeem who was allegedly accused of being an internet fraudster in Sagamu.
The arrest which led to his death has been attributed to different claims by the police and his teammate Sanni Abubakar who was with him during the arrest.
“The SARS officer stopped Tiyamiyu Kazeem, insisting that he was a Yahoo boy. He brought out his identity (ID) card to identify himself as a player of Remo Stars FC, but the officer insisted on taking him to the nearest police station in Sagamu,” Abubakar said.
He accused the police officer of pushing Kazeem out of a moving vehicle which led to his death.
But spokesman to Ogun State Police Command Abimbola Oyeyemi said the footballer was arrested for always wearing military apparels without being military personnel. He also refuted eyewitness’s claims about Kazeem’s death.
“While taking the deceased in a vehicle to Abeokuta, the vehicle they were travelling in developed a mechanical fault and while the officer was trying to rectify the fault, Tiamiyu jumped down from the vehicle to escape,” Oyeyemi said.
“In his bid to run across the road, an on-coming vehicle which is on high speed knocked him down and he died on the spot.”
While the police is yet to conclude its investigation about Kazeem’s death, the IGP has assured Nigerians of ensuring justice prevails.