By Okunade Adekunle
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have thrown their weight behind the protesters of #EndSARS by demanding for the proscription of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the introduction of a new and well-structured security outfit in its place.
The lawmakers also called on the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, to provide protection for the protesters, while they express their grievances.
The demands were made at an emergency sitting presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa on the current call across the nation for an end to the widely reported alleged dehumanisation of Nigerians by FSARS.
Obasa and some lawmakers had addressed some residents of Lagos who protested to the House of Assembly on Thursday demanding for an end to FSARS with some of them alleging that innocent people had become the major victims of the body.
The lawmakers after extensive deliberation and debate over the issue, resolved that the National Assembly should carry out a probe of the allegations against FSARS including killing, maiming and dehumanising of Nigerians.
They further resolved that the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State should protect End-SARS protesters in the state and ensure that they are not molested and that he should stop unwarranted molestation of the youths by the FSARS and its counterparts in the State.
The lawmakers demanded further that the leadership of the National Assembly ( The Senate President and the Speaker, House of Representatives) should institute a public enquiry on the extra-judicial activities, killings, maiming and dehumanization of the youths by the Anti- Robbery Squad; and ensure that the victims are duly compensated while erring officers sanctioned appropriately.
“SARS should be proscribed and a new security outfit which will be more efficient with clearly spelt out code of conduct and rule of engagements be established while sanction is imposed for the misdemeanour.
“Mr President should ensure that culpable officials of SARS receive the punishment as prescribed by the National Assembly,” the House resolved.
The House also directed its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Petitions to liaise with the Commissioner of Police and Attorney General of the State to fashion out ways and means to address allegations of ruthlessness and extrajudicial killings contained in the petition against SARS in the state.
The lawmakers urged the Governor of the State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to engage relevant institutions “to protect lives and property in the state such that phones, laptops and other means of communication belonging to youths are not confiscated indiscriminately without a warrant.”
Recalled that there had been nationwide protest and call for a scrap of FSARS in the country. The protesters who were majorly youths under the auspices of EndSARS alleged the section of the Nigeria police of inhuman activities such as extra judiciary killings, maiming, harassment among others.
In Lagos, EndSARS protesters kept vigil on Thursday at the entrance of the House of Assembly. It was reported that they built tents at the entrance, which police operatives dismantled and carted away.
The visibly angry protester refused to back down despite threats to disperse them after policemen destroyed the tent where they have camped for two nights.
Around 10 pm on Thursday, the street lights, which provided illumination for the protesters, were switched off, creating fear of possible threats or attacks.
A twitter user, @SavvyRinu said: “We are in danger, World! Let it be known that we are currently being harassed by the @PoliceNG. They want to kîll us! We will not ask for help from anyone! So nobody should do anything. I can’t tweet anymore.”
A popular comedian, Debo Adebayo, known as Mr Macaroni, joined the protesters and expressed displeasure with the action of police operatives.
Earlier on Thursday, Folarin “Falz” Falana and Douglas “Runtown” Agu had led a protest to call for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit in Lagos.
Tiwa Savage, Rudeboy, Bolanle Ninalowo, PocoLee, Blacqbonez, Pamilerin, BBNaija Prince, and other celebrities also joined the protest.