The fatal police shooting footage of a Nigerian man has sparked outrage and reignited a public call for the shutdown of a controversial police unit in the country.
The outrage was triggered by a post from a Twitter user who said he recorded SARS officials shooting “a young boy dead at Ughelli, Delta state . . . in front of Wetland hotels. They left him for dead on the roadside and drove away with the deceased Lexus jeep.”
It is yet unclear when the video was recorded.
Commissioner of Police in Delta State, Hafiz Inuwa, told Channels Television that his men did not shoot anyone.
But Nigeria’s youth and sports minister Sunday Dare has called for an “immediate investigation” into the alleged shooting.
“The minister of youth and sports development, who has also been monitoring the reports of alleged SARS harassment and attacks, has called for immediate investigations that will unravel the truth,” Dare said in a statement by his spokesperson John Joshua-Akanji.
However, the video has caused large numbers of Nigerians – including politicians and activists – to take to social media calling demand “justice”.
Hashtages such as #WarOnSars, #EndSars and #SarsAlert have reverberated among internet users in the country. Some Twitter users renamed SARS as “Special Armed Robbery Squad”.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar condemned SARS’ “cruel actions against our people” and called for a review of the unit’s operations.
“How many young Nigerians will have to be robbed/ kidnapped/killed by SARS before our Government takes it seriously? The “Special Anti-Robbery Squad” is doing the robbing?! Such a disgrace. What will it take for our “leaders” to do something about it? #EndSARS #EndSarsNow,” Actor and politician, Bankole Wellington, popular known as Banky W, tweeted on Sunday.
In August 2018, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo ordered an overhaul of the police squad. But no much difference had been achieved as reports of police brutality have not abated.