By Oluwakemi Ishola
Over 73,000 Nigerians have signed a petition, requesting the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu for committing crimes against humanity, following the killing of #EndSars protesters by police officers in at least three states in Nigeria.
The petitionraised by Amadi Chima stated that the Nigerian Police under the leadership of the IG of Police has unleashed war against defenseless and innocent Nigerian youths whose only crime was demanding an end to extortions, harassments, illegal arrests, detentions, and wanton killings by the rogue police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” the petition reads in part.
The ICC is the first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
As of Monday, over a dozen protesters includingJimoh Isiaq, a young Nigerian from Ogbomoso, Oyo State had either been reported shot or killed by men of the Nigerian Police Force during the ENDSARS protest.
Police fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters in Abuja, the nation’s capital Sunday evening, while the protesters continued with their demand which has transformed from ENDSARS to a call to an end of police brutality in the country.
The Inspector-General of Police had on Sunday announced the disbandment of the dreaded SARS unit, noting that the decision was taken to satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians and observers.
“The SARS is hereby dissolved across all formations in 36 states, police commands and the FCT where they currently exist. All officers currently serving in the unit are to be deployed with immediate effects,” Adamu said during a briefing in Abuja.
Reacting to the disbandment of Sars, Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, in a tweet described the decision as a very important first step but urged the government to respect the rights of the citizens to protest peacefully.
“The IGP’s commitment to ensure accountability for human rights violations is essential to restoring public confidence in the Nigeria Police Force.
“Hearing reports of violence affecting ongoing protests. Urge authorities to respect the right to protest and protestors to remain peaceful,” she tweeted.
Nigerians on their part have expressed dissatisfaction over the announcement, demanding transparency and concrete evidence that the rogue police unit has indeed been dissolved.
Meanwhile, Joe Abah, a former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR)advocated that members of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force should undergo a psychological evaluation.
“Now SARS has been dissolved and the first stage of #EndSARS achieved, we can now discuss reforms,” Abah wrote on Twitter.