Nigeria: Obiano Bows to Protesters' Demands, Sacks Security Adviser, Nwafor

16 October 2020

Awka — Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, yesterday terminated the appointment of his Senior Special Adviser on Security, Mr. James Nwafor, in fulfillment of the demand of #EndSARS protesters.

Nwafor was formerly the commander of SARS in Anambra State, and had severally been accused of killing and maiming many youths in the state. He was hired after his retirement by Obiano.

The protesters had last Wednesday blocked the Government House and the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, insisting that Obiano must address them before they would leave, but they were not addressed, leading to them staying late into the night.

But while addressing the protesters yesterday at the Government House, the governor said he would take their demands to President Muhammadu Buhari, while also fulfilling the ones within his powers.

"I am very happy with the way you have conducted yourselves. You have conducted yourself creditably.

"I have a list of all your demands. Some of them have already been met, like the SARS being disbanded. That has already been met, and some are still in the pipeline which I am going to present to the president. The other ones are the ones I can handle myself.

"Your first request is the immediate prosecution and removal of James Nwafor; the immediate release of all protesters in police custody, and that will be done.

"As for compensation of family of SARS victims, the state Attorney General and the leadership of the police will look into this and make recommendation to me. I support your protest; police brutality and extortion are not allowed anywhere. Any police officer that does that, quietly copy his name and let us know," Obiano assured the protesters.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. James Eze, confirmed that Nwafor has been immediately relieved of his job, adding that he is unsure if the governor has the powers to prosecute him.

"Former CSP, Nwafor, has been relieved of his duty. It's up to the Inspector-General of Police (IG), who has been vigorously pursuing reforms in the police force, to decide who to prosecute.

"I don't think the power to prosecute lies with the governor. He doesn't have the power. Though he gave the assurances but in practicality, is that possible?

"Nwafor was advising the governor on security issue; his expertise was needed as part of the security architecture of the state as he is familiar with flashpoint in the state," Eze said.

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