According to the IGP, officers are working to improve some of the issues that sparked the protests.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
Usman Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, claims that the historic nationwide #EndSARS protests against police brutality last year have improved the Force’s law enforcement methods.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), whose officers were accused of numerous acts of abuse against citizens, was disbanded as a result of the protests in October.
Officers have been trying to improve on some of the issues that caused the protests, Baba said during a media briefing on Thursday, October 28, 2021.
“The challenges of #EndSARS had made us to wake up in some aspects of our engagement,” he said.
In light of police officers’ crackdown on protesters who took to the streets again last week in honor of those killed during last year’s demonstrations, the police chief’s latest claim falls flat.
At a memorial demonstration on October 20 at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, where security forces fired on peaceful protesters last year, 34 people were arrested
After hastily arranged court trials, many of them were released on bail, but at least two were fined N10,000 each after pleading guilty to a charge of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.
At Thursday’s press conference, Baba claimed that the Police Force had suffered human and infrastructure losses as a result of last year’s protests.
He said 35 police officers were killed and 146 others were injured in events related to the protests, according to a detailed breakdown provided to journalists.
Nine area commands, 76 divisions, 48 police posts, and 16 barracks were reportedly destroyed or vandalized, along with 340 firearms and 30,084 rounds of ammunition.
Nine armored personnel carriers, 198 police patrol vehicles, 182 police officers’ personal vehicles, and 422 exhibit vehicles were also destroyed or vandalized.
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