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UK government admits training and supplying equipment to Nigeria’s SARS police unit

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The UK government has admitted providing training and equipment to Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), after initially denying any ties.

 

The minister for Africa James Duddridge, who is one of Boris Johnson’s ministers, admitted British officials had trained officers from the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) between 2016 and 2020.

 

In a letter sent to Labour MP Kate Osamor on Thursday, October 29, the minister said SARS officers had participated in training “designed to improve human rights, training on public finance, and community policing workshops”.

ALSO READ:  Over 1m youths have applied for investment fund - President Buhari says as he calls for an end to street protest

 

He also confirmed radio equipment was given to Nigerian police which was then used by SARS.

 

Ms Osamor – who had demanded the UK government reveal any ties to SARS – told The Independent: “It is shocking that in the middle of global protests to End SARS our government appears to have had no idea whether or not it was funding those very units.”

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The MP said she had been told “categorically” by the minister earlier this month that no funding ever made its way to SARS units.

ALSO READ:  Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey tweets '#EndSARS' again after being threatened by former presidential aspirant Garba Adamu

 

“The government has now been forced to admit that it not only spent millions training SARS but also directly supplied them with equipment.”

 

She added: “The government now needs to explain how and why it ever felt it was appropriate to train and equip security forces which were known to have taken part in torture and extra-judicial killings.”

 

Sharing a copy of the letter to Twitter, Ms Osamor wrote: “On 19 October the Minister for Africa @JamesDuddridge assured me that the UK Government had provided no funding to SARS units. That wasn’t true. The Minister has now confirmed that the Government has trained and supplied equipment to SARS units from 2016 to 2020.”

ALSO READ:  INEC postpones all bye-elections over #EndSARS crisis

 

 

 

The End SARS protests began in Nigeria in early October, in revolt against police brutality. Activists demanded the disbandment of the unit after footage showed a man being beaten by an officer

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ENDSARS

Police re-arrest four prisoners who escaped from Edo prison

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Four prisoners who escaped from Oko Prison during the #EndSARS crisis have been re-arrested by the police.

 

The suspects were paraded at the Nigeria Police Force tactical unit in Abuja, alongside others who were arrested for various offences bordering on armed robbery, car theft, unlawful possession of weapons, illegal dealing and selling of weapons.

ALSO READ:  ''I can't'' - Gov Sanwo-Olu replies IG user who asked him to summarize President Buhari's speech

 

The prisoners who escaped from the facility have been identified as Adebayo Opeyemi, Oloride Benjamin, Peter Osas, Hudu Musa and Frank Odion.

ALSO READ:  Over 1m youths have applied for investment fund - President Buhari says as he calls for an end to street protest
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While Mr Opeyemi is a dismissed soldier, Mr Benjamin was convicted and sentenced to death and Mr Musa had nine months remaining to serve out his prison term.

 

It was gathered that the suspects have snatched a total of four vehicles since their escape. Mr Benjamin on the other hand, snatched a vehicle 30mins after he escaped because he needed to leave Benin City.

ALSO READ:  Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey tweets '#EndSARS' again after being threatened by former presidential aspirant Garba Adamu

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ENDSARS

Northern Governors are not against disbandment of SARS – Governor Lalong

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Governor Simon Lalong has made a clarification on the stance of Northern Governors on the disbandment of controversial police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

 

Lalong who is the chairman of Northern Governors Forum on Wednesday November 18, said they are not against the scrapping of SARS contrary to some misconceptions in some quarters.

ALSO READ:  Nigerian Army claims no soldier was at Lekki tollgate where gunshots were fired at #EndSARS protesters. Also denies seizing bodies of victims

 

He said;

 

“The Northern Governors Forum is not against the disbandment of SARS as misconstrued in some quarters. We rather caution against the blanket condemnation of the police that can erode the confidence and zeal of the hardworking and honest ones in performing their duties of protecting lives and properties.”

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Reiterating the region’s commitment in tackling the several challenges facing the region, Lalong said the forum will collaborate with Federal Government and security agencies to address the issues of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, and other criminal activities.

 

He added;

 

“We must tackle the current challenges of insecurity in the region which is dominated by insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, rape, child abuse and trafficking and other conflicts.

“We shall continue to work with the Federal Government and security agencies to tackle crime and criminality. That is why we have supported a comprehensive reform of police architecture in the country.”

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CNN releases findings from its independent investigation on Lekki shooting; shares videos of what appears to be soldiers shooting directly at the crowd

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CNN has released its findings from an independent investigation carried out on the October 20 shooting incident at the Lekki tollgate.

CNN releases findings from its independent investigation on Lekki shooting; shares videos of what appears to be soldiers shooting directly at the crowd

CNN shared footage of what appears to be soldiers shooting at the #EndSARS protesters who had gathered at the tollgate to press home their demands to end SARS as well as end police brutality.

CNN releases findings from its independent investigation on Lekki shooting; shares videos of what appears to be soldiers shooting directly at the crowd

CNN in its investigation spoke with a man, Elisha Sunday, whose brother, Victor, was killed during the October 20th shooting incident.

ALSO READ:  Police re-arrest four prisoners who escaped from Edo prison

CNN releases findings from its independent investigation on Lekki shooting; shares videos of what appears to be soldiers shooting directly at the crowd

The media house also spoke with some of the protesters who were at the scene when the shooting occurred. They claim the soldiers indeed fired shots at them.

 

The media house also tracked the bullets shells seen at the Toll Gate and the companies that supplied the Nigerian Army Weapons since 2005

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Recall Nigeria drew global attention when military men stormed the Lekki toll plaza where #EndSARS protesters gathered and fired gunshots.

ALSO READ:  Nigerian police is responding to allegations of brutality with more brutality - Trevor Noah on killing at Lekki Toll Gate (video)

 

Shortly after the incident, Governor Sanwo-Olu in a press conference stated that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. On October 26, the governor granted an interview to CNN where he stated that only two deaths were recorded from the incident. He added that he visited the scene the next day and couldn’t find bloodstains.

 

On the day of the incident, the Nigerian Army took to its Twitter handle to deny claims its personnel was at the scene of the incident.

ALSO READ:  #EndSARS protest: Youths are entitled to peaceful protests - President Buhari

CNN releases findings from its independent investigation on Lekki shooting; shares videos of what appears to be soldiers shooting directly at the crowd

On October 27, the Army broke its silence and alleged that the Lagos state governor invited them to help quell the violence that erupted after the protest was hijacked by hoodlums. Read here.

 

Watch the video from CNN’s independent investigation below

 

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