The head of Nigeria’s police dissolved its Special Anti-Robbery Squad with immediate effect on Sunday, a police statement said, prompted by days of protests across the country against alleged brutality by the controversial unit. The protests broke out after a video circulated last week allegedly showing members of the unit – known as SARS – shooting dead a man in Ughelli, Delta state. It also prompted a globally-trending social media campaign to abolish the squad. Demonstrators also said that police shot dead another man while marching in the southwestern city of Ogbomoso on Saturday. “The dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people,” the police statement said. Protesters and rights groups met the announcement with scepticism and calls for justice. Police officials and politicians have said they were disbanding or reforming SARS multiple times in recent years, with little visible change, critics say. An Amnesty International report in June documented 82 alleged cases of SARS mistreating, torturing and extra-judicially executing detainees. On Sunday, police used teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters in the capital Abuja, a repeat of what witnesses said were similar events on Friday.
At least 12 people were killed in weekend attacks on two communities in Kaduna, survivors said on Sunday. According to survivors, some gunmen invaded Kidandan and Kadal in the Giwa local government on Friday and Saturday, firing sporadically. “There were about a dozen bandits. They attacked Kidandan on Friday afternoon and left three people dead. Four people were also wounded,” Auwal Ibrahim, a survivor, told the Anadolu Agency over the phone. Another survivor Usman Bala said the gunmen also attacked his community Kadai on Saturday. “The bandits moved to Kadai on Saturday night, the gunmen killed nine at the Kadai village and four people who were injured were in critical condition,” he said. The agency said information on the attacks was not known until Sunday noon due to the remoteness of the area.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Governor Rotimi Akeredolu winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state, having polled the highest score of 292,830 votes. Akeredolu defeated the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, who got 195,791 votes, and the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, of the Zenith Labour Party, who came a distant third with 69,127 votes. The Ondo State Election Chief Returning Officer, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka, made the announcement on Sunday at the INEC state headquarters in Akure.
The European Union will offer Mozambique support in tackling a wave of militant attacks in the country’s north by rebels with links to Islamic State, its ambassador to the southern African nation said on Friday. The rebel attacks in Cabo Delgado province date back to 2017 but the violence has gathered pace this year with insurgents seizing important towns for brief periods and hitting military and other strategic targets. Mozambique had asked the EU for help in training its armed forces to battle the insurgency, which has raised fears for stability and security in southern Africa. “The government of Mozambique has asked for help and we will give, but it is more aid in terms of training, logistics and medical services for the forces that are fighting terrorism in northern Mozambique,” the EU’s ambassador to Maputo, Antonio Sánchez Gaspar, said. Rights group Amnesty International last month accused Mozambican soldiers of committing atrocities in the northern conflict zone, but the defence ministry dismissed the reports, saying militants regularly impersonated soldiers.