The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has refuted claims by Amnesty International that men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) use extreme torture to obtain bribe from suspects.
Idris said this on Wednesday during an interview with Al-Jazeera.
He said, “The Nigeria Police Force in its entirety condemns every element of torture in the conduct of police operation in this country. And we have units on the ground to check some of these excesses.
“Nigeria Police Force has never been involved in any element of torture in all its activities in the cause of their investigation all over the country.”
Amnesty International had on Wednesday accused the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of torture and theft in the discharge of its duties.
According to the report, detainees told Amnesty International they had been subjected to horrific torture methods, including hanging, starvation, beatings, shootings and mock executions, at the hands of corrupt officers from the feared Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police force.
“A police unit created to protect the people has instead become a danger to society, torturing its victims with complete impunity while fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption,” said Damian Ugwu, Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher.
“SARS officers are getting rich through their brutality. In Nigeria, it seems that torture is a lucrative business,” he added. “Our research has uncovered a pattern of ruthless human rights violations where victims are arrested and tortured until they either make a ‘confession’ or pay officers a bribe to be released.”
Amnesty International has received reports from lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists and collected testimonies stating that some police officers in SARS regularly demand bribes, steal and extort money from criminal suspects and their families.