An Assessment of Police Brutality and Human Right Abuses In Nigeria. A study of Endsars Protest
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Nigeria was established to address insecurity and crimes in the nation. Rather than maintainig their definite stated objective, they fallout with the law by profiling and harassing young people which led to wrongful arrests, brutalization and loss of innocent lives. In response to the recent deaths instigated by SARS officers, anti-SARS protests erupted across the nation and around the world. Two weeks later, 12 unarmed protesters were shot at Lekki, Lagos State on October 20, 2020 by members of the Nigerian Army and Police, after the State declared a 24 hours curfew . The main thrust of carrying out this research is to empirically investigate Police Brutality and Human Right Abuses In Nigeria with a special references to the ENDSRAS Protest.
In carrying out this study, the researcher made use of survey research design that allowed the use of structured questionnaire and oral interview guide to gather appropriate data from the respondents.The population for this study was made up of youths and human right activists residence in Lagos Nigeria who have knowledge of the protest. A total of Two Hundred and Thirty Five (235) respondents was selected using simple random sampling techniques. For analyzing the gathered data for this study, simple percentage and multiple regressions analysis were adopted. The simple percentage was employed to describe the demographic characteristics of the respondents while the linear regression and Pearson Product Moment Correlation statistical techniques were employed to analyse the data collected. SPSS version was adopted to run the analysis of the gathered data.
Based on the findings, the study revealed that the Nigerian police and other sisters security agencies in Nigeria regularly commit human rights violations throughout the ENDSARS protest, The findings also revealed some high level of unlawful killings of protesters, torture and other ill-treatment of some arrested Endsars protesters, and enforced disappearances of some those sustained gunshot injury in other to erase traces of this abuses.
Based on the findings, the study among others recommends that Nigerians must come together to combat human right abused by impressing upon their democratically elected government that the principles of democracy and human rights must be sacrosanct at all times. The challenges facing Nigeria are not limited to North or South, Christian or Muslim, Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa – Fulani. Democracy which is characterized by definite principles. These include, adherence to the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights and the protection of lives and properties. For a prosperous democratic governance to be realized in Nigeria, true principles of democracy must be imbibed and deepened.
The study concluded that despite setting up Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality, the Nigeria justice system is under-resourced and riddled with delays