Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Chike Oti gave comments concerning the alleged arrest of R&B singer, Praiz by members of the force on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
This is coming at a time of an increased tension between the public and the police, particularly the department dedicated to battling hardened thieves – the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Oti who spoke to the Linda Ikeji’s Blog (LIB) revealed that the songster was stopped by some police officers due to his excessive speed while driving on the Lekki-Epe Highway. The intention of the security personnel was mainly to conduct a search according to reports.
Praiz’ show of resistance however prompted them to invite him to Ajah Police Station. He was described to have brought out a recording device which he employed for the purpose of filming the officers while screaming at the top of his voice. Oti who mentioned that the singer has already been released, also stated that SARS operatives were not responsible for his arrest as was being rumoured.
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The past weeks have seen widespread outrage and protests conducted on a national scale calling for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad widely criticized for intimidating innocent civilians. In its response, the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris has given an order for a prompt punishment of SARS operatives who have been found wanting.
32 SARS personnel from various commands all over the country were taken to Abuja where they were held in detention facilities owned by the police.
Responding to a call to end SARS, a counter protest group believed to have been sponsored by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) are however proposing a reformed SARS as opposed to scrapping it. Most of the individuals who have offered support for this are mainly women who do not appear competent enough to defend their reasons for the continuance of SARS.