A Critical Investigation Of The Effect Of EndSARS Protests On Correctional Service In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Edo Jail Break)
1.1 Background Of The Study
Protesting is a medium through which the weak can seek to influence the ruling authorities. Protesting complements other means of influence, such as political parties (the enactment of laws) and legal advocacy before the courts. Public protest is by definition a non-institutional means of attempting to influence the authorities.
On October 2020, a large youth-led protests against police shook the cities across Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. The demonstrations emerged after video circulated on social media purporting to show an extrajudicial killing by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the national Nigeria Police Force (NPF) responsible for investigating violent offenses.The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was a branch of the Nigeria Police Force under the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID). It was founded in late 1992 as one of the 14 units in the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, which was established to detain, investigate, and prosecute people involved in crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping, and other violent crimes.The squad was created as a masked police unit to perform undercover operations against violent crimes like armed robbery, car snatching, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and the bearing and use of illegal firearms.
EndSARS is a decentralized social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses( Ogundipe 2017). The protests which takes its name from the slogan started in 2017 as a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #EndSARS to demand the disbanding of the unit by the Nigerian government (Kazeem Yomi 2020). After experiencing a revitalization in October 2020 following more revelations of the abuses of the unit, mass demonstrations occurred throughout the major cities of Nigeria, accompanied by vociferous outrage on social media platforms. About 28 million tweets bearing the hashtag have been accumulated on Twitter alone( (Kazeem Yomi 2020)).
Within a few days of renewed protests, on 11 October 2020, the Nigerian Police Force announced that it was dissolving the unit with immediate effect. The move was widely received as a triumph of the demonstrations.It was noted in many quarters that similar announcements had been made in recent years to pacify the public without the unit actually being disbanded (Ademoroti Niyi 2020). However the peaceful protest turned sour when unknown cabals and enemies of the good course hijacked the ENDSARS protest, using it as a means of political propaganda and causing chaos in the society. Cases of hoodlum attacks on institutions, banks, business, prison breaks and breaking of palliative warehouse became the ordeal of the protest. Prison Break is an unlawful act under Nigerian law, of a prisoner forcing their way out of a prison. It can also be described as attacks on the Nigerian Prisons Services by terrorists, gunmen and armed robbers in which many prisoners are released.Often, when this occurs effort are made by the Nigerian Prisons Services in conjunction with security agency to rearrest the escapee and return them to the prison and this may result in the extension of their jail term. The effect of this is detrimental to national security aand escapes criminal on the long run reinforce to perpetuate more crimes.
Therefore it is on this note that this research is set to do a critical investigation of the effect of endsars protests on correctional service in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Protests against police brutality previously have arisen in Nigeria, as advocates and researchers have documented extensive evidence of human rights abuses by SARS officers and other NPF personnel. In a 2016 report, Amnesty International asserted that SARS officers routinely committed torture and other abuses against detainees—many of whom were arrested arbitrarily, detained incommunicado, and forced to “confess” or pay bribes to secure release. However in response of these attacks, On October 17 2020, a large group of youths was seen Lekki areas of toll gate with placards peacefully agitating for ENDSARS. In October 20 2020, army and police reportedly used live fire to disperse demonstrators in the Lekki and Alausa areas of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, killing several and injuring hundred. Afterwards reports emerged of violence and looting by some crowds—including attacks on police stations, prisons breaks, banks, major business outlets as well as instances of ethnically-targeted violence in Lagos and Edo State as the most heated region.
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), confirmed the jailbreak in Benin and Oko prisons in Benin City by by suspected protesters under the #ENDSARS protests on Monday 19, 2020. PREMIUM TIMES(2020) gathered that the hoodlums, numbering over 100, broke open one of the cells and freed several inmates in the process. According to the NCos spokesperson, he condemned the protesters for their non-peaceful, and violent destructive actions. A journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES said the jailbreak in Benin was stage-managed by unknown persons. Hence It’s not possible without the collusion of the insiders without proper ammunition,” he said. The effect of prison break is not just a question on security threat but on the extreme it leads to more vices and crime in the society and contributes to national insecurity . Therefore it is against this backdrop that this research is set to do a critical investigation of the effect of ENDSARS protests on correctional service in Nigeria using Edo Jail Break as case study.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The focus of this study is to critically investigate the effect of ENDSARS protest on correctional services in Nigeria. Specifically the study will examine the impact of prison break on Nigeria correctional Centre. It will suggest how prison break can be managed by Nigeria correctional centre.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
This research would benefit the general population and add to the body of expertise. The research would be extremely beneficial to the Nigeria Correctional Services and, by implication, all levels of government in Nigeria, as it would expose the impact of jailbreaks on the country’s security while also highlighting ways to prevent them. Students, writers, and academics who are involved in conducting more studies in this area may find the analysis extremely useful.
1.5 Scope Of The Study
The scope of this study is to critically investigate the effect of ENDSARS protest on correctional services in Nigeria. Specifically the study will examine the impact of prison break on Nigeria correctional Centre. It will suggest how prison break can be managed by Nigeria correctional centre. The study is delimited to Benin Correctional Centre, in Edo State.
1.6 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis guided the research:
- H0: There is no significant effect of ENDSARS protest on correctional services in Nigeria.
- H0: There is no significant impact of prison break on national security in Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
- Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
End SARS is a decentralised social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses.
A prison, also known as a jail or gaol, penitentiary, detention center, correction center, correctional facility, lock-up or remand center, is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state as punishment for various crimes.
Prison Break is an unlawful act under Nigerian law, of a prisoner forcing their way out of a prison. It can also be described as attacks on the Nigerian Prisons Services by terrorists, gunmen and armed robbers in which many prisoners are released. Often, when this occurs effort are made by the Nigerian Prisons Services in conjunction with security agency to rearrest the escapee and return them to the prison and this may result in the extension of their jail term
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