ASSESSING POST ENDSARS PROTEST EFFECT ON LIVES AND PROPERTIES IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In 1992, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was formed by Simeon Danladi Midenda to combat armed robbery and other serious crimes. Before its formation, the Nigeria Police Force generally oversees the anti-robber responsibility until the anti-robbery unit was formed as a distinct department in 1992 to undertake criminal investigations and other specified duties.
The inciting events that spurred SARS' formation were the death of Colonel Israel Rindam (Nigerian Army) by police officers at a checkpoint in Lagos on September 1992. This scenario warranted strike by police officers as they withdrew from checkpoints, security areas, and other points of interest for criminals; some police officers allegedly resigned while others fled for their lives (Iheancho 2003). Due to the absence of police for two weeks, the crime rate increased. In response, SARS was formed with an initial force of fifteen men and two Peugeot station wagons and has developed since its formation. In the early days of the unit, combat-ready SARS officers operated undercover in plain clothes and plain vehicles without any security or government insignia and did not carry arms in public (Daniel 2009). For 10 years, SARS only operated in Lagos, but by 2002, it had spread to all 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It was counted as one of the 14 units under the Nigerian Police Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (Deleke 2003). Its mandate included arrest, investigation and prosecution of suspected armed robbers, murderers, kidnappers, hired assassins and other suspected violent criminals (Frank 2008).
Emboldened by its new powers, the unit moved on from its main function of carrying out covert operations and began to set up roadblocks, extorting money from citizens. They remained in plain clothes but at this time carry arms in public (Joe U.D 2015).
Over time, the unit be came implicated in widespread human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention and extortion. Hence these inhumane sadistic callous and fiendish emanated the protest calling for its dissolution (Ade 2020).
Protest is a medium through which the weak can seek to influence the ruling authorities (Adekunle 2007). Protest complements other means of influence, such as political parties (the enactment of laws) and legal advocacy before the courts. According to Zagard (1996), Public protest is by definition a non-institutional means of attempting to influence the authorities. In the view of Chukwudi (2003), Protests conveys messages, and carry symbolic content. Hence its purpose is to make a claim or express a grievance. More generally, a protest can be considered as a “message events.”
Furthermore, the EndSars protest in Nigeria was as at the beginning a peaceful expression of grievances against the outrageous brutality of Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of Nigerian Police which was carried out by Nigerian Youths on 13 October 2020. the protest was as a result of leadership failure as affirmed by Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State Governor). The social movement commenced as a peaceful and well executed protest until its blood and violent advent as it took a war surface across over 6 states of Nigeria. Hence the outbreak of this worrisome violent scenario resulted to massacre and assassination of both protestants, armed officers and destruction of properties. Therefore the major interest of this study is to investigate and examine the effect of post EndSars protest on lives and Properties in Nigeria..