Nigeria: Presidency announces disbandment of disputed police unit

A protester against police violence in Ikeja protests in front of police officers.

October 9, 2020. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

In Nigeria, after a week of protests in the country, the presidency approved the dissolution of the Flight Repression Squad (SARS), accused of serious human rights abuses.


Read more

With our correspondent in Lagos,

Liza Fabbian

It only took a few hours last weekend for Nigerian youth to mobilize massively.

First on social networks with the hashtag #EndSARS, then in the street, to demand the dismantling of this special police unit.

From the start, this movement benefited from the support of the stars of Afropop, who gave it an international echo.

The singers Davido or Wizkid largely relayed the information.

The latter even joined this Sunday, October 11, a support rally organized in London.

Investigation group

After a week of mobilization, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police finally announced the dismantling of the anti-robbery squad, in accordance with the demands of the demonstrators.

Better yet, the police chief promises the creation of an investigative group to look into " 

crimes committed by the police against citizens

 ", which will include civil society.

These statements are in line with the demands of an NGO like Amnesty International.

It remains to be seen whether these promises will materialize.

Because police reforms had already been announced in 2017 and 2018 in Nigeria, without ever succeeding.

Security researcher Confidence MacHarry believes that the dissolution of the SARS is unlikely to put an end to police violence " 

which affects all police units

 " according to him.

PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE: The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force @PoliceNG has been dissolved WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT.

The Inspector General of Police will communicate further developments in this regard.

  Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) October 11, 2020


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Nigeria

  • Justice

  • Social networks