James Duddridge: UK training, SARS equipment
The British government said it trained and equipped agents of the Anti-Robbery Special Squad of the disbanded Nigerian police between 2016 and March 2020.
British Secretary of State for African Affairs James Duddridge announced this in a letter to British Parliamentarian Keith Osamore.
The legislator has previously written to the UK government about financial and training support being provided to former SARS officers.
Osamor, who represents Edmonton and is chairman of the one-party parliamentary group for Nigeria, said former SARS agents have been implicated in no fewer than 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extrajudicial executions since January 2017.
Responding to Osamor’s letter, Duddridge, in a letter recovered on Thursday by PUNCH, said the British government, through its Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, had trained former SARS agents and provided them with some equipment.
Duddridge’s letter stated in part: “Following my letter, officials conducted an in-depth analysis and examined our recent CSSF programming support to determine if any of our programs worked with FSARS.
“After the review and in the interests of full transparency, I want to share with you the following information;
“First, as part of our CSSF-funded Police in Nigeria Program that ended in March 2020, FSARS staff participated in a modified Nigerian Police Driving Training designed to improve human rights and finance. publishes and conducts public order seminars.
Second, thanks to our support for the Northeast Public Safety Program (part of which is supplied jointly with USAID), our implementing partner provided radio equipment to Borno Police Headquarters. (Creative Associates) Borno Police Command distributed two handheld radios and a car radio to FSARS to improve coordination between police forces working to strengthen local security and counter violent extremist organizations.
“They were returned and transferred to other police units in Borno when FSARS was disbanded on October 11th.”
The minister said the UK government is working with Nigeria’s Foreign Office and other relevant bodies to support the federal government’s efforts to end police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
Duddridge also welcomed judicial commissions investigating human rights abuses by security officials in Nigeria, including the shooting of #EndSARS demonstrators at the Lecca toll collection point in Lagos state.
Source: – Punch ng