Protest : UK Lawmaker Writes Dominic Raab Over Financial Support To SARS - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Protest : UK Lawmaker Writes Dominic Raab Over Financial Support To SARS

Aisha Yesufu

From Heritage Odih

As EndSARS  demonstrations widened in scope and persistency in major cities across Nigeria, a member of the UK Parliament, Kate Osamor, has written the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, regarding financial and training supports extended to the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS), a dreaded unit of the nation's Police Force.

In her letter dated October 15, 2020 and sighted by The Daily Crucible,  Osamor, who represents Edmonton, sought to know the rationale behind the funding of SARS or extension of any support to the outfit.

The Parliamentarian who doubles as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria, noted that disbanded police unit has been implicated in 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial killings in parts of Nigeria and dating back to January 2017.

The letter reads : “I’m writing as a member of the International Development Select Committee and Chair of the Nigeria APPG to ask for some clarification regarding the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund project in Nigeria which is aimed at ‘increasing the capacity of Nigerian kidnap units to deliver anti-kidnap and kidnap response capacity’.

“I’m sure you will be aware of the recent protests against Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has been involved in at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial execution since January 2017.

“Given these concerns and concerns generally with the nature of corruption and brutality in Nigerian law enforcement, it is obviously extremely important that no UK development spending finds its way into the pockets of groups within Nigeria who are guilty of such crimes.

“For that reason, I’m very concerned about the UK development funds which have been invested in the “Nigeria Countering Organised Crime and Corruption” project and the lack of transparency when it comes to this project.

“In light of the lack of detail provided and the circumstances in Nigeria, there is a high risk that the NCA is providing supports to units implicated in the abuses I have mentioned above.

“I would therefore be grateful if you could confirm whether any funding or other kinds of support have, directly or indirectly, been given to the SARS unit.

“If support has been provided, can you confirm whether it was in the form or training, the provision of equipment, funding or another form of support?

“Can you confirm what due diligence and risk assessments were undertaken prior to the implementation of the project?

“What steps is your department taking to ensure that any support given by this Government to SARS did not facilitate abuses?”


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