In an ongoing campaign to end Police brutality in Nigeria, actress Juliet Ibrahim, has shared her experience on how she was harassed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, also known as SARS.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is a dreaded controversial unit of the Nigeria Police Force. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad is a unit under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department headed by the Nigeria’s Deputy Inspector General of Police, Anthony Ogbizi.
In a series of tweets by Juliet Ibrahim, she shares her experience on how a return from a movie night lead her into the hands of SARS.
According to her she was with her sister and assistant, and despite showing proof of her identity, the armed men demanded to still search their bags.
Below is the detailed account of her experience:
“I have personally been stopped by #Sars officers in lekki after watching a movie at the IMAX cinema around 10pm last year. We were in an Uber car and without any reasons given; we were asked by 2 drunk SARS Officers to step out of the car so they can search our bags! #SarsAlert. We demanded to know why because this is not done and he insisted on searching even after my Assistant had shown him his international Ghanaian passport. They didn’t have an answer as to why they decided to stop my sister, myself and my assistant that night!
After we opened our bags for them, went back and forth insisting it was Wrong in all ramification to search our handbags when we hadn’t committed any offense; a 3rd officer showed up and recognized me and started hailing me that he watches my movies.
He then asked the guys to let me be and asked “anything for the boys?” Which I told him NO I had no money!!! We were allowed to leave but here’s the terrifying shock! WHAT IF, we were harassed further or molested by these drunk officers? WHAT IF!!!
Are we going to sit back and watch more innocent people killed, harassed and attacked by #SARS before we start speaking up?! It happened to ME TOO and it can happen to your Fathers, Mothers, Uncles, brothers and sisters and Foreigners visiting Nigeria!!
Ever since my experience in lekki from IMAX towards Freedom-way; I decided never to go watch late night movies again. I am afraid to even pass there at night because of fear of harassment! People should never live in fear of law officers meant to protect them!”