Nigeria: #EndSARS - SARS Operatives Extorted Me Twice - Oyo Deputy Governor

19 October 2020

Rauf Olaniyan, the deputy governor of Oyo State, has revealed how some operatives of the recently proscribed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) extorted money from him in various currencies including naira, dollars and pounds in Lagos.

Mr Olaniyan had last week declared his support for EndSARS protesters.

The deputy governor, while addressing the protesters last week, said that he was a victim of police brutality twice.

Mr Olaniyan, who spoke at the weekend, recounted how the special unit of the police collected money from him without being found guilty of any offence.

He said that on a particular occasion, while he was rushing to catch a flight, SARS operatives took all the monies he had on him (both local and foreign) and that even an appeal to them to spare him some to use when he gets to his destination fell on deaf ears.

He added that only reforms of the police will help address all the anomalies in the system.

"I was a victim twice, once at Ikeja roundabout and at Ojota ramp when you want to negotiate around Ikorodu road to the express.

"Ask my driver. We were ransacked there. What only saved me was the fact that I had some money with me. I had to part with over N100,000. It was terrible.

"That of Ikeja, they took pounds sterlings, they took dollar notes, all the money I had because I was travelling. I was eager to go and catch my flight, they emptied me.

"I even pleaded with them that I planned to spend the foreign currencies when I get to my destination, they said people there that I was going to meet will take care of me. They were very very notorious," Mr Olaniyan said.

He said that banning SARS is not the only solution, but total reform of the police force.

"It is not only #EndSARS but we need complete police reformation. Some of them are very nice, good, decent and even professionals.

"But some of them may not even be in SARS outfit but they behave just like them, so what we need is a complete police reformation.

"If they disband SARS, they should be retrained on how to relate and deal with civil society," he said.

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