WHY SARS SHOULD BE LABEL AS A TERRORISTS ORGANISATION – FEMI FALANA

Femi Falana, human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, has described the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as a terrorist organisation.

Falana expressed the view at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, during the launch of a book entitled, “Financing Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria,” written by Dr. Olaofe Ogundipe.

He stated that one of the problems facing Nigeria today is that her laws are class-biased, adding that the law is only applicable to the poor.

Falana also expressed regret that most Nigerians are ignorant of how to protect their dignity and rights as citizens.

He said the Police was created and unleashed on the public.

He, however, said that the ongoing protests across the states would not end it.

Rather than embarking on protests, Falana said Nigerians and stakeholders should take advantage of the relevant sections of the Constitution to tackle the excesses of SARS.

He said, “It is sad that Nigerians had to contend with such terrorist organisation which engages in human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings. I don’t think the ongoing protests would end it but let me say that we have relevant sections of the Constitution that we can use against it.”

Falana spoke of how one of his clients lost his son to Police brutality in Edo State.

He also said President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical treatment abroad constituted a gross abuse of the rights of the less privileged and underscored the pervasive inequality among Nigerian citizens.

Falana, who however, said the President deserved the best treatment to sustain his mental ability and competence, posited that it constituted an abuse of rights and class differences, if other Nigerians cannot enjoy such privileges.

The lawyer said he was of the opinion that the Federal Government should henceforth pay the ransom demanded by kidnappers for any kidnapped Nigerian, saying “the responsibility of government is to protect our lives and property.

“Let me say that if I am kidnapped today and I pay ransom to secure my freedom, I will surely take  FG to court to refund my money because it is the responsibility of government to secure my life,” he said.

He said it sounded so unfathomable that the president and other top Nigerians like the late Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, could be hurriedly flown abroad for medical treatment while Nigerian hospitals were being ill-equipped thereby causing death of poor Nigerians who suffer lesser afflictions.

Falana, who presented a lecture entitled, “The Justiceability of Health As a Human Right,” said Section 17 of the Constitution and National Health Act 2014 made it a matter of imperative for government to foot the medical bills of poor Nigerians, regretting that they were not being implemented.

The human rights activist added that the level of ignorance among Nigerians were still very high and this, he said, accounted for why vast majority of them did not take governments to courts on issues of abuses of rights.

“In the last couple of years, President Buhari has been flown abroad for medical treatment at public expense. In the same vein, the Federal Government recently announced that it would pick up the medical bills of Dr. Ekwueme, the late former Vice President, in a London hospital.

“While the nation’s leaders deserve the best medical treatment for the reservation of their lives, it is our submission that the FG must bear the medical bills of all citizens without discrimination.

“This submission is anchored on Section 42 of the Constitution which has guaranteed the fundamental right of every citizen to freedom from discrimination in a manner that no citizen shall be accorded any special advantage over and above others.(Daily Independent)

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