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James Duddridge: UK Facilitated Training, Supplied Equipment To SARS

James Duddridge: UK Facilitated Training, Supplied
Equipment To SARS
The British Government has said it trained and equipped
operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of
the Nigeria Police Force between 2016 and March 2020.
UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, made this known
in a letter to a member of the British Parliament, Kate
Osamor.
The lawmaker had earlier written the UK government over
financial and training supports extended to ex-SARS
officers.
Osamor, who represents Edmonton, and who is the Chair of
the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria, had stated
that ex-SARS operatives were involved in no fewer than 82
cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial killings
since January 2017.
Responding to Osamor’s letter, Duddridge in a letter on
Thursday sighted by Oniftv, said the British
Government, through its Conflict, Stability and Security Fund
trained ex-SARS operatives and supplied some equipment
to them.
Duddridge’s letter partly read, “Following my letter, officials
have conducted a deep dive and reviewed our recent CSSF
programmatic support to determine whether any of our
programmes worked with FSARS.
“Following the review and in the interest of full
transparency, I want to share the following information with
you;
“Firstly, through our CSSF-funded Nigeria Policing
Programme, which ended in March 2020, FSARS officers
participated in the training on amended Nigerian police
guidance designed to improve human rights, training on
public finance, and community policing workshops.
“Secondly, through our support to the North East Public
Safety and Security Programme (part of which is delivered
jointly with USAID), radio equipment was issued to Borno
Police Command by our implementing partner (Creative
Associates) to increase coordination between police units
working to improve local security and to counter violent
extremist organisations. Borno Police Command distributed
two handheld radios and a vehicle-mounted radio to FSARS
Unit.
“These were returned and redistributed to other police units
in Borno when FSARS was disbanded on 11 October.”
The minister said the British Government was working with
the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry and other concerned
authorities to support the Federal Government’s efforts to
end police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
Duddridge also welcomed the Judicial Panels of Inquiry
investigating human rights abuses by security agents in
Nigeria including the shootings of #EndSARS protesters at
the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.

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