Human Rights Call – Another Alarming Case Of SARS Atrocity

RULAAC Calls On The Inspector General Of Police To, Again, Caution Officers On Misuse Of Firearms;

Order An Impartial And Effective Investigation With A View To Ensuring Justice In The Reckless, Unwarranted And Unjustifiable Shooting And Inflicting Of Grievous Bodily Injury On  Sadiq In Gwarinpa, FCT, Abuja.

RULAAC is seriously concerned about reports of unprofessional conduct and reckless, misuse of firearms resulting to the inflicting of grievous bodily injury on 17-year-old Sadiq by operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Abuja at the Gwarinpa area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Monday, 18, May, 2020.

According to accounts by Sadiq’s cousin:

1. Sadiq was shot, without any provocation or justification, and grievously injured by operatives of SARS pursuing an alleged kidnapper who was demanding ransom from his victim.

2.The operatives jumped the fence and entered Sadiq’s aunt’s house in Gwarinpa and started shooting. Sadiq was, at the time, performing ablution for zuhr prayers, and on sighting one of the officers shooting, he got scared, and thinking they were armed robbers, ran towards a neighbour’s house.

3. One of the officers shot him on the hand, and while he was bleeding from the gunshot, the officer handcuffed him and one of his neighbour’s sons and dragged them into their vehicle.

4. The rest of the officers broke down the doors into Sadiq’s and other neighbours’ rooms and arrested all the male including Sadiq’s aunt’s husband, beat them up and eventually took them away without informing them about where they were taking them to.

5. Moments later, some of the officers came back to the house and cleared the compound of all the bullet shells that were scattered on the floor in an attempt to clean up evidence.

6. The family, after inquiries, traced the arrested persons to the SARS office at Guzape.

7. The police officers involved in this reckless and unprofessional operation framed false narratives of what happened while explaining to a senior officer whom the familycould not identify. The operatives claimed that they were chasing a kidnapper who was demanding ransome from a kidnapped victim and that the kidnapper jumped into Sadiq’s aunt’s house and that they didn’t shoot any body. They claimed that Sadiq got injured by a barbed wire while trying to escape and that Sadiq was the kidnapper.

8. Sadiq’s relatives narrated their own side of the story and after listening to Sadiq’s step mother, the senior officer realised that the account by his operatives did not add up and asked them to release every body.

9. Sadiq’s cousin demanded that the police should take Sadiq to the hospital and get him treated and that they should foot the medical bills. For daring to make such a demand, the commander and his deputy threatened to arrest him and ordered that nobody should be released.

10. However, Sadiq’s cousin insisted that the police should allow them take Sadiq for treatment of his gunshot injury and that a police officer should accompany them so that the hospital will not reject him or refuse to treat him because of the gun shot injury

11. The police eventually took Sadiq, in their Hilux vehicle, to the National Hospital and left him to his relatives, ignoring the Doctors request that they should wait and give a statement.

12. Upon examining Sadiq’s hand where the police officer shot him, the Doctors found that the bullet damaged his Radius and Ulna bones, as well as the whole tendons on the wrist.

13. Sadiq’s family is demanding justice for him and the entire family.

His cousin wrote:

With deep sorrowful broken heart I write dis painful story of what happened to my cousin today, today as a Nigerian citizen, I have seen the highest order of abuse of office by the SARS officers and cruelty, at about 1pm SARS officers shot Sadiq….

‘We are demanding justice if there is any justice remaining in Nigeria, if not we have raised our hands and prayed to Allah in this Holy month for devine intervention, but today as a Nigerian Citizen our government has failed us…’ SARS officers are very cruel and inhuman, the officer that shot Sadiq was looking like a hoodlum, with his tattered hair style and chains hanging around his neck, if any one can help us raise the alarm untill it reaches the ears that needs to hear and Justice is given to sadiq it will be appreciated, pls help us share until it reaches the ears that need to hear… This is Sadiq’s picture at the trauma Centre in National Hospital Abuja…

RULAAC calls on the IGP to order a transparent and effective investigation into this reckless and unprofessional operation that resulted to grievous injury on the young victim.

The operatives responsible must be made to bear the cost of the victim’s treatment, while also being subjected to appropriate disciplinary action for their unprofessional and reckless misuse of firearms. This is necessary to ensure justice and deterence.

Okechukwu Nwanguma
Executive Director

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