EndSARS: Police apologize for the excesses of officers during protests

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The Nigerian Police Force has apologised for the conduct of some of its officers during the course of the EndSARS protests in October.

Recall that in In October 2020 , thousands of Nigerians marched in Lagos and other cities to demand an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, a police unit accused of extrajudicial killings and abuses through the EndSARS

The government announced the unit had been disbanded, but many Nigerians were skeptical, as officials have promised an end to the unit and its alleged abuses before.

The protest was hijacked by hoodlums who took advantage of the protests to unleash violence in the state. 

The demonstrations also turned bloody in Lagos on October 20, 2020, when men in military uniform opened fire on young protesters at the Lekki toll plaza, an epicentre of the protests in Lagos.

However, promising a new police structure in the aftermath of the EndSARS protests, the new Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 11, comprising Oyo and Osun states, Agunbiade Oluyemi said the police has learnt their lessons and are taking appropriate measures to establish effective policing across the country.

Guardian reports that Oluyemi stated this on Thursday during his visit to Oyo State, where the new Commissioner of Police (CP), Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, received him.

Oluyemi confirmed that some officers of the now scrapped Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the Police were wrong for investigating suspected internet fraudsters and harassing the youths.

He said, “We want all stakeholders to appeal to members of the public that the police are now back stronger and we are ready to work for the people. We will have a robust relationship with the public and we want Nigerians to have confidence in us and give us useful information.

“There is no way criminals will overcome us. The crimes they commit affect all of us in one way or another. We won’t allow criminals to have their way and we have rolled out new strategies in tackling the criminals.

“The new Police Constabularies that were just recruited will be complementing the Force in intelligence gathering for effective service delivery and we have also marked out some strategies that will make our job easier and more effective.”

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