Residents of Ikorodu division area of Lagos State have petitioned the Lagos State Government over alleged harassment and brutalization by police officers attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) posted to Ikorodu.
The petition, authored by the Chief Administrator of Ikorodu Ambassador Group, Adedeji Fatuga, and being signed online by residents, both home and abroad, has garnered close to 500 signatures.
In the petition titled, “Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) Extortion And Torture In Ikorodu, Lagos Nigeria” and directed to the Lagos State Government for redress, the petitioner alleges that :
“Innocent people are affected because the SARS officers now see almost every youth in Ikorodu as fraudster whom they can torture and extort”.
He also requested the authority to make it mandatory for the SARS officers operating in Ikorodu to wear their uniforms with name tags in order to be able to identify the corrupt ones among them.
“Concern authorities need to make it mandatory for the officers to wear their uniforms with a means of identification at all times to make it easier for victims to identify them when lodging their complaints”, the petitioner stated.
Adedeji, who stated that he want peace and love in Ikorodu, also added that “I want Equal Right and Justice”.
Speaking with THE IMPACT, the petitioner said that he was encouraged to write the petition because of the numerous complaints he receives on daily basis.
According to him, most of the victims and complainants used the Ikorodu Ambassadors’ platform to lodge their complaints while others either make phone calls or send text messages to him.
He added that as a youth leader in Ikorodu division and founder/ chief administrator of one of the most followed social media platforms in the division, it is his duty to speak for the victims and demand justice for the division.
Meanwhile, Ikorodu residents are not just signing the petition, they are also adducing reasons for their signatures.
Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, a Lagos based Ikorodu indigene, while signing the petition stated that, “The people of Ikorodu have had to endure a most horrendous decade. Having overcame violent cultists and murderous “Badoo”, we should not become victims of state-sponsored terrorism from those we are paying to protect us!”
Another petitioner, Olaniyi Emmanuel, who is based in the United States (US), wrote on the petition’s platform, “This is important because it is our duty and right to let the government know what we don’t want in ikorodu, especially the issue of SARS in Ikorodu and enivirons”.
Also, Adetimehin Israel said he was signing because he has once being a victim of SARS harassment.
“I am signing this petition because I am also a victim of police harassment”.
Another petitioner, Adedipe Bamidele, stated, “It’s my town, your town, our town. That is why we need all of us, both at home and outside, to fight against the issue of SARS and other cops in Ikorodu”.
One Paypal Fincer, while signing the petition, wrote, “I’m signing this petition today (20/11/2017). We don’t want SARS Patrol here in Ikorodu unless they are called for an Operation “.
Another resident, Jennifer Kelechi simply stated while signing, “It’s just so unbearable…”
Olaniyan Olayinka, while showing support for the petition, stated, “This petition aims to secure justice for the oppressed youths of Ikorodu. I am signing because I am committed to attainment of national peace and justice which is the most required ingredients for peace”.
The Chief Petitioner, Rasheed Adedeji Fatuga, is appealing to the residents of Ikorodu division, especially the youths who have been the victims of the alleged SARS harassment,to support and sign the petition.
Attempts to reach the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) as at the time of going to press proved abortive.
When THE IMPACT called 08057000001, one of the contacts issued for the public by the police, the receiver politely told our reporter that the lines are mainly for complaints and not for enquiry. He, thereafter, directed us to the PPRO.