Police officers have killed a man who was protesting against police brutality, especially by the recently-dissolved Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
The man was killed in the Surulere area of Lagos State on Monday, October 12, 2020, barely a day after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu praised Lagos police officers for conducting themselves responsibly during protests that started last week.
Effort by medics on the scene to treat the protester failed as he died of a gunshot wound sustained when police officers pushed back to disperse the scores of protesters.
Other protesters reportedly sustained gunshot injuries.
Nigerians have campaigned for years to have SARS scrapped after numerous well-documented incidents of abuse including harassment, extortion, torture, and extra-judicial murder.
The latest outrage that sparked over the past week led to widespread protests across many states in the country, the most publicly-charged demonstrations against the unit.
With protests blowing up all over the country and globally, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced on Sunday, October 11, that SARS had been dissolved across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
All officers serving in the unit are to be redeployed to other police commands, formations and units immediately.
A new arrangement is also to be made for tackling violent crimes, the primary role of the unit just disbanded.
Despite the announcement, many protests already planned for Monday went ahead, with Nigerians expressing suspicions about the seriousness of the announcement, and especially demanding President Muhammadu Buhari speak directly on it himself.
In a brief video address posted online by the presidency on Monday afternoon, President Buhari said his government is committed to ensuring that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of Nigerians.
"We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful deaths are brought to justice," he said.
The president also noted that a vast majority of police officers are hardworking and diligent, and that the few bad eggs should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the force.
Some of the new demands made by the protesters include the release of all arrested protesters, and justice for all deceased victims of police brutality, with appropriate compensation for their families.
An independent body is to be set up as soon as possible to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police brutality.
Nigerians also want all disbanded SARS officers to undergo psychological evaluation and re-training before they can be redeployed.