The general mood of Nigerians towards SARS operatives appears not to be cordial. It is believed to have been fuelled by several reports of assault.
This was confirmed in an IG post shared on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.
The victims were reportedly shot at around Fela Shrine as revealed in a short footage which showed damages done to a car by bullets believed to be fired by the policemen four days before the report.
A voice heard in the clip expressed a feeling of shock while processing the attack by the officers.
Many of their colleagues have become a subject of criticism from Nigerians who seem to be a target of brutal handling by the police considered out of touch with civility.
A Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus has urged operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) to be careful not to harass decent men mistaken for Yahoo Boys.
She noted this in an open letter shared via her Instagram profile on Thursday, May 31, 2018.
Badmus in her post pointed out that not all good looking men are internet fraudsters.
Arresting a person based on physical appearance and choice of expression is wrong according to the PPRO.
"Bad eggs within the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), please be informed that not all good looking young men out there are “yahoo yahoo” boys, a lot of them are young Nigerians “hustling” up and down to make ends meet.
"Kindly note that some young upcoming stars believe that weaving, plaiting and designing their hairs rastafarianly is another way to be accepted as an entertainer (even though most times it doesn’t appeal to me).
"Some couple of days ago, I saw the son of a high ranking officer with a dreadlock hair style, does that Indicate that he’s a fraudster?! Hell “No”, that young man is well trained and brought up, he’s just shooting his shot in the entertainment world.
"It will therefore be highly unfair for any security agent to arrest him under the guise of being a yahoo boy.
"Dear colleagues in SARS, can we do more in combating violent crimes?! Can we take a clue from the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team whose main aim has been to rid the nation of criminal elements?
"This team has done a lot to protect our nation, they always sacrifice their comfort and sleep !
"By so doing they’ve been able to abort violent crimes such as kidnapping, armed robberies etc. They have not only rescued victims but made arrests (Evans, Offa robbery etc).
"Dear SARS we appreciate the ones among you doing what is right while we advise the bad eggs to take a clue from IRT team and stop causing pains to legit young men and their families.
"Please note that it is not right to accost anyone on the road and start checking his or her phone, respect people’s privacy and rights!...THANK YOU. God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria, God bless Nigeria Police Force," Badmos' note reads.
Her open letter highlights some of the experiences of some Nigerian youths who have encountered brutal assault in the hands of SARS officers.