Nigeria: SARS Is Worse Than Boko Haram – DesertHerald

Dec 6th, 2012

NewsRescue- A Nigerian news website and magazine has described the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) security division as worse than Boko Haram.

In an article posted by the online edition, DesertHerald said:

SARS operatives have today become more dangerous to the people than even Boko Haram and it forms part of the reason why most people keep a distance from the police. And it is one of those reasons that Boko Haram insurgency has defied solutions because of SARS brutality and extortion. Those released from SARS detention turn back to plan revenge after release while majority prepare to even join Boko Haram for a revenge of what they experienced from those that are paid to protect them.

It would be recalled that the SARS office in Abuja was attacked by unknown gunmen who sprung some prisoners out of its cells on the evening of Monday, 26th November 2012.

This attack by unknown gunmen was later reported by the same DesertHerald, who claimed they had received an exclusive message immediately after the attack, stating that the attack had been carried out by a new terrorist organization, JAMBS (Jama’atu Ansasrul Muslimina fi Biladissudan), who had earlier in the year sent an exclusive letter to DesertHerald, according to the editorial, announcing the groups inglorious inauguration.

In the DesertHerald exclusive, the alleged new group claimed to be a Robin-Hood of sorts, justifying its attack of the SARS headquarters as being based on “emancipation of the suffering.”

DesertHerald is notorious for breaking stories from Northern extremists, many at times before any other media or organization even has an idea of these stories. For some funny reason, it appears “JAMBS” chooses DesertHerald as their sole means of communication to the outside world.

DesertHerald recently entertained a visit from the Canadian delegation in Nigeria, who thumped the editorial for its ‘investigative journalism.’ See: DesertHerald: Canadian High Commissioner’s historic visit to DESERT HERALD: Canada to support Nigeria in curbing terrorism – Ambassador Cooter

In what could read as a justification of the acts of this so-called new group, while describing the reasons why SARS is “worse than Boko Haram,” DeserHerald in what it called “the hidden facts behind the attack,” further said:

SARS Headquarters attack: The Hidden facts!

The squad has branches in the 36 states of the federation including Abuja in most cases funded by the various state governments. Over the years, the organization systematically became a replica of its former self and turned to an extortion outfit that has outlived its usefulness to the people.

Several reports reveal that apart from human rights abuses, there are cases of extortion of suspects and their relations while bail of suspects either in detention or under arrest is obtained at fixed amount depending on the nature of crime committed. For instance, it was revealed that armed robbery suspects are bailed at over N1million while bail ‘fee’ for other minor crimes range from N500,000 and above depending on the bargaining capacity of suspect’s relations.

Although, the office of the Inspector-General is confirmed to have been disbursing monthly feeding allowances of suspects in police detention nationwide, in most police stations across the country and Abuja SARS headquarters, such allowances are diverted and the burden of feeding suspects rests on the shoulders of their relations including medication for the period they are detained.

While relations are forced to accept the corrupt practice without complaining as making any complain may attract a negative response, they are also forced to grease the palms of guards at the various cells before the food and medication they brought could reach their relations languishing in cells.

Not only that, black marketers within Abuja and other places are subjects of extortion and brutality. In most cases, SARS operatives storm their operational locations to cart away drums and jerry cans of fuel to compel owners to report for collection and be subjected to various degrees of extortion and intimidations including threats to their lives. Before any black marketer is allowed entry into SARS premises in Abuja to press for his case, he is forced to pay an entry fee at both gates.
Starving suspects without relations in Abuja languishing in SARS cells is no more news as dead bodies are thrown out daily because of hunger, torture and other brutal acts from those who are expected to take care of the unfortunate ‘innocent’ citizens. Read more…