Demand justice for Police Brutality in Nigeria

In Nigeria, civilians are being extorted, raped, tortured, and killed by police officers who are members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad – SARS. Victims of these crimes are still waiting for justice because the anti-torture law meant to provide justice is not being enforced. Take action now to end impunity and demand the reform of police in Nigeria.

Survivors have risked everything to tell their stories and seek justice, while the loved ones of those who have died do the same.

On 30 April 2018, Ugochukwu, a 32-year-old trader was arrested without a warrant at his shop. The police officers accused him of paying a gang whose members had been blackmailing him. Instead of helping Ugochukwu, SARS officers requested 20,000,000 nairas ($55,325) as payment for his freedom. They detained and tortured him for six days, and even staged a mock execution to break him and force him to pay. On the fifth day, Ugochukwu was told that his life would end that day because he refused to pay. Four policemen blindfolded and handcuffed him. They pushed him inside a car and drove for two hours. They brought him near a borrow pit inside the bush. They all drew their guns and pointed them at him. Ugochukwu begged for his life as the leader gave the order to fire. He heard the sound of rapid gunshots and passed out. When he finally came to, he was back in the car and policemen brought him back to the cell. He was told that he would not be so lucky next time. Ugochukwu paid 6,000,000 nairas ($16,666) to SARS officers the next day before he was released.

This is just one case of many that tell the story of police brutality in Nigeria. For years, human rights organizations and the media have documented and reported cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, and other ill-treatment committed by SARS officers. Our latest report “Nigeria: Time to end impunity” shows that despite a law criminalizing torture which was passed in December 2017, SARS officers continue to act with impunity as if they are above the law.

SARS officers are infamous for unlawful killings and torture. The recent death of Hamilton Osahenhen Obazee who was arrested and allegedly tortured to death by SARS officers on 6 March 2020 in Edo state, sparked several demonstrations to demand the end of SARS. The cases of brutality have prompted Nigerians to call for a reform of police through protests and campaigns.

It is time to finally end impunity for police brutality and torture in Nigeria.

Join our members and supporters and demand an end to police brutality in Nigeria.

Call on the Nigerian authorities to ensure that measures are taken to immediately end the practice of torture and ill-treatment by the SARS and all complaints of torture by SARS are independently and impartially investigated as prescribed by the Anti-Torture Act 2017.

Take action now by sending an email to President Muhammadu Buhari as well as to the Attorney General Abubakar Malami to demand the reform of the police in Nigeria.