A fatal mix-up in the Nigerian Police has led to the death of an officer of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, in Anambra after he was shot dead by policemen having being mistaken for a kidnapper.
The errant policemen were reportedly guarding a private residence in Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Punch reports that the unfortunate SARS operative had accompanied one of his colleagues to effect an arrest at about 4.30 am in the neighbourhood when he met his demise.
A police source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “He (the deceased) accompanied one of his colleagues to somebody’s residence to effect an arrest at about 4.30 am.
“They were handcuffing their suspect when somebody who did not know that they were SARS operatives alerted some policemen on guard in a private residence in the neighbourhood.
“The neighbour had told the policemen that kidnappers were trying to abduct someone.
“As soon as the policemen arrived the scene and saw the SARS operatives, they opened fire at them and gunned down the deceased, thinking they were kidnappers.
“It was minutes after that his colleagues identified him as a SARS operative on special duty,” the source said.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad has reportedly confirmed the incident, which comes at a time of intense scrutiny of the police squad.
For months now Nigerians, particularly on social media have called for the scrapping of SARS following mounting allegations of blatant rights violations.
The unit may yet remain as the Inspector-general of Police Ibrahim idris recently gave his nod to them saying Nigerians complaining are ‘criminally minded’.
Meanwhile, the killing of the hapless SARS operative has triggered reactions from Nigerians, and many couldn’t be less sympathetic…
They shot the right guy
— C M CHIKAMNELE (@chikamnelecm) July 27, 2018
It's totally difficult to differentiate a SARS operative from an armed robber in everything – in looks, dressing, character, commonalities etc. I thought police are to be different?
— Ajibola Rotimi (@AjibolaRotimi4) July 27, 2018
Why won't they shoot them when they go around on mufti killing and harassing innocent Nigerians. I just saw one controlling traffic at costain without anything to identify him but he was carrying a gun..
— AGUDA MAKHENA (@JudeMakhena) July 27, 2018
Father confuse them
Scatter them pic.twitter.com/ESPSoYeZoC
— Nimueh Anacksunamun🌚🌚 (@wickedstepmami) July 27, 2018
I'm just waiting for them to mistake @YomiShogunle for a kidnapper since he's so certain his men are well trained and disciplined.
It would be a great test of their discipline.
— BASH-AAR🔞 (@FaruqBashar) July 27, 2018
One down, and many to go…
Na one by one una go they gun down una self..
Imagine a NGPolice officer not recognizing a fellow NGPolice officer in another unit because SARs officers dress like KIDNAPPERS, ROBBERS, CULTIST and every EVIL form one could think of. pic.twitter.com/HApaYKO9Nt
— AYANLOLA ABDULJELIL (@owolabitaiwo) July 27, 2018
This is hilarious,see what we have been saying.even sars is not safe from police!God is awesome
— capi oloye (@akin_xxo) July 27, 2018
Are they not kidnappers?
— 1st Man, The Adam. (@adamuciroma1827) July 27, 2018