The Law Students’ Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN) have called for the resignation of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, over the killing, detention, and harassment of protesters.
Since last week, protesters have taken to the streets in several cities in and outside of Nigeria demanding an end to the menace of police brutality and harassment of youth by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
In a statement on Tuesday signed by LAWSAN national president, Blessing Agbomhere, the union argued that the safety and protection of the life and property of Nigerians is the primary responsibility of the Nigerian government.
Against this backdrop, the union expressed displeasure over the arrest and humiliation of protesters, including one of its students.
“The crescendo to the #EndSARS protest was the arrest, detention, molestation, intimidation, humiliation, dehumanisation and rape of Treasure Nduka, a student of the Nigerian Law School, Abuja campus, who was arrested at Ojuelegba, Lagos, along with very many other Nigerians across the nation. Although most of those arrested have been released, many lives have been lost.
“This has demonstrated gross violation of human rights, abuse of office and professional incompetence of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Abubakar Adamu.” the union said.
The IGP had earlier bowed to pressure on Sunday and announced the dissolution of the dreaded police formation.
The police unit has been accused of extra-judicial killings, extortion, intimidation, and other criminal activities.
Following the scrapping of SARS, the IGP has set up a new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to fill the gaps created by SARS dissolution.
“The disbandment of the SARS unit of the police and their redeployment, without adequate reassessment of the team, prosecution of the bad eggs amongst the team or rehabilitation of some members of the team who are in need of such treatment, connotes and denotes that the pronouncement of the disbandment by the IGP is paying lip service to a matter that can lead to a breach of national security,” LAWSAN said.
It added that Section 14(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) posits and instructs that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through the constitution derives all its powers and authority.
“A fortiori, we hereby direct the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu to resign immediately for his incompetence.
“If he refuses to do same immediately, we direct the National Assembly to remove him from office within the next two hours. If the National Assembly refuses to do this within the next three hours after this release, we order President Muhammadu Buhari to sack and remove from office the IGP, Abubakar Adamu for gross incompetence, an act which is capable of leading to a breach of national security.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should appoint an acting IGP among the most senior police officers, who shall release and revive all arrested and killed protesters, pay damages to them and their families, and put a permanent end to the menace of these unscrupulous elements operating under the cover of the police force.
“We are ready to deploy all instrumentalities and principalities of the law to solve this problem if nothing is done immediately.” the group concluded.