#ENDSARS PROTEST: NBA CONDEMNS USE OF LIVE AMMUNITION BY POLICE
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the use of live ammunition by the Nigeria Police against #ENDSARS protesters in the ongoing protests in the country.
Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, NBA President, Olumide Akpata, said the use of live bullet will only aggravate the already tensed situation in the country.
“Under no circumstances should the use of live ammunition against peaceful and lawful protesters be tolerated,” he said.
“Those found culpable must be apprehended and made examples of in the wake of the protests that have resurrected the consciousness of the Nigerian society and indeed the international community to these very important and systemic issues.
“The NBA is convinced that the disbandment of SARS or any other unit by whatever name called, reposting or transferring officers of any disbanded unit and other reactions will only scratch the surface and not offer long-lasting solutions to the endemic issues bedevilling the Nigeria Police as currently constituted.”
Speaking further, Akpata called on the Federal Government and State Governments to protect the rights of citizens participating in peaceful protests across the country.
In doing this, the NBA leader wants security agencies to be warned against “assaulting, attacking, abusing or otherwise harassing or otherwise using force against citizens who seek to have their voices heard through the peaceful protests.”
Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan also condemned police brutality in the country, warning that no Nigerian’s blood should be spilled.
“No Nigerian blood needs to be spilled or life lost during a peaceful protest that seeks to advance our country.
“We may hold different views on national issues, but there is no doubt that most people desire the same thing for Nigeria: a place where we can all live out the full potential of our God-given abilities. I implore everyone to exercise restraint as we walk through these challenging times,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan’s reaction was in response to the series of protests by citizens fighting against police brutality, extortion and extrajudicial killings by policemen across major cities in the country.
As part of the measures to reform the Nigeria Police, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, ordered all operatives of the proscribed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
The IGP said the officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.
He has also created the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit to replace the recently disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).