- Assistant commissioner of police, Abayomi Shogunle, said most people accusing police of brutality and illegal arrest can't go to court because they have no evidence
- Shogunle said victims who have evidence need not go to police but straight to court to seek justice
Assistant commissioner of police, Abayomi Shogunle, said most people accusing the Nigeria Police and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of illegal extortion and arrest can't go to court because they lack evidence.
Shogunle made this statement in an interview on Channels TV while reacting to the campaign by Nigerians for SARS to be scrapped.
According to him, the #EndSars campaigners have failed to take their complaints to court simply because they don’t have evidence to tender.
Shogunle said: “Courts are still working in Nigeria, how many of such cases have you taken to the court for redress.
“Some have done that and in some cases, the court has awarded damages that the police should pay while the court has thrown out some other cases, having lacked merit.
“So, if you have any issue with the police, you can completely disregard reporting to the police and go straight to the court.
“Why are people not going to the courts? because they don’t have evidence or the facts they will use to pursue their cases."
Shogunle said there is a proper structure in place in the police, to address criminal cases, especially those involving SARS officials.
“There is a Commissioner of Police, here in the Force Headquarters who is in charge of SARS operations nationwide and the Commissioner of Police reports to the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations and every state command has officers in charge of SARS.
“Some of them are Assistant Commissioners of Police, others are chief superintendents so that’s the structure.
“Once there is any case, they are given directives, they look into it and they carry out their investigation.
He added that the force is not taking most people's compliant and the campaign against SARS serious because no one is going to court to seek redress.
He said: “Unfortunately, Nigerian lawyers are more active on social media than they should be active in courts
“You see a lawyer tweeting about violence on social media where he can actually do a pro-bono case because part of the things they will use in giving you a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is that you must have done some cases for people free of charge, instead of charge.
“Instead of young lawyers going to court to pursue a career or to improve on their profession by taking such cases to court if you believe it is a case, they will rather prefer to come to social media and be typing all sorts.
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“The courts are there and thank God they are working.
“The judiciary is completely independent of the executive arm of government so the fact that people are not going to courts, I think should be enough reason for us not to take them seriously.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the police command in Ondo has arrested five of its operatives attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who on Monday, June 18, allegedly brutalised not less than 20 students of Adekunle Ajasin University located in the Akungba Akoko area of the state.
The arrested SARS men, according to Femi Joseph, the spokesman of the command, included one inspector and four officials from different ranks.
See the faces of newly arrested criminals in Lagos state - On NAIJ.com TV