Police Fault Sani, Insist No #EndSars Protester in Detention

June 17, 2024

The Nigeria Police High Command has categorically denied the recent allegations made by Senator Shehu Sani that some young people have been detained since the 2020 #EndSARS protest.

Sani, who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly, made the claim while speaking at the 2024 Democracy Day Dinner on June 12, 2024, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

End SARS, widely written as #EndSARS was a decentralised social movement and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria.

The movement’s slogan called for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police known for its long record of abuse against Nigerian citizens.

The protests originated from a Twitter campaign in 2017, using the hashtag #EndSARS to demand the unit’s disbandment by the Nigerian government.

The movement experienced a resurgence in October 2020, following further revelations of the unit’s abuses, leading to mass demonstrations across major cities in Nigeria, and widespread outrage on social media platforms.

The hashtag #EndSARS accumulated over 28 million tweets on Twitter alone.

Solidarity protests and demonstrations by Nigerians in the diaspora and sympathisers occurred in many major cities around the world.

Spokesman of the police, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi, while faulting Sani on the claim that some of the protesters arrested during the demonstration were still in detention almost 4 years after, said that no individual was being unlawfully detained by the police or any other security agency in Nigeria due to the #EndSARS protest.

His words: “All arrested individuals have been processed according to the law, and none remain unlawfully detained.

In Lagos, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu pardoned approximately 100 suspects arrested by the Police during the protest.

“For emphasis, no one anywhere in Nigeria is under Police detention or being wrongly persecuted for participating in the EndSARS protest. The issues surrounding the protest have been debated, researched, and documented, and lessons have been learnt. We have forgiven ourselves and moved on.

“We urge the public to disregard this claim and remain assured of our commitment to upholding justice, the rule of law, and human rights. We encourage verifying information before making public statements to avoid harm and incitement.”