Amnesty International has indicted operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria police.
The body, in a report published on their website after a lot of research carried out by their members in the country, reveal that detainees are subjected to various forms of horrific torture and torment which include hanging, starvation, beatings, shootings and mock executions, at the hands of the SARS officers, while those who have money are forced to part with huge sums of money as bribes to be set free.
A researcher with the body, Damian Ugwu, narrated how they came to the conclusion on the human rights abuses suspects suffer in the hands of the police:
"A police unit created to protect the people has instead become a danger to society, torturing its victims with complete impunity while fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption.
Our research has uncovered a pattern of ruthless human rights violations where victims are arrested and tortured until they either make a ‘confession’ or pay officers a bribe to be released.
SARS officers are getting rich through their brutality. In Nigeria, it seems that torture is a lucrative business."
To corroborate what Ugwu wrote, a 25-year-old fuel attendant based in Onitsha, Anambra State, narrated how he was arrested and tortured by operatives of SARS after his employer had accused him of being responsible for a burglary at their business premises.
"The policemen asked me to sign a plain sheet. When I signed it, they told me I have signed my death warrant. They left me hanging on a suspended iron rod."
"My body ceased to function. I lost consciousness. When I was about to die, they took me down and poured water on me to revive me."