Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Sahara Reporters had reported that on 17th September, 2020 operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Anambra state had broken into a National Youth Service Corps member’s apartment in Ogbaru area of the state about 2am in search of some internet fruadsters called Yahoo boys.
The report of the incident according to Sahara Reporters had it that SARS operatives gained access into the female corper’s apartment through the window and allegedly molested her while she was naked and defenseless.
The report further disclosed that the matter was reported to the police commissioner in the state. The said female NYSC member who was said to have been stripped naked by SARS officials as reported by Sahara Reporters, did not say those who invaded her room that morning were SARS men but for the malicious intent of Sahara Reporters.
However, our correspondent gathered from the state coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps in Anambra, Mr.Aremu Kehinde, that SARS operatives were innocent of the allegations of brutality and molestation of the female NYSC member.
The NYSC state coordinator said, “It was not SARS operatives but the Special Anti-Cult Squad (SPACS). They traced some students to her room. I reported the matter to the commissioner of police and the operatives of SPACS who did it have apologized to the girl; so the girl is not pressing for damages except that they would repair the net that was damaged.”
When asked whether the NYSC would take the matter further, the state coordinator said there was no need for that because according to him, there have been instances where the police rescued NYSC members from danger and that one ugly incident won’t smear the cordial relationship with the police.
He said, “The girl has accepted the apologies. The parents have accepted too. Police do more for corps members. We did all we needed to do for the SPACS operatives to be identified and the police commissioner got them to apologise to the girl directly. Even the commissioner of police thanked her for forgiving them but still assured the girl that he will deal with them.”
Investigations further revealed that SARS operatives do not stand on the roads for any reason in Anambra state but carry out their duties diligently especially when it involves rescue operations and clamping down on criminal elements.
Our correspondent also gathered that there have been a number of reforms in the state command of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.The need for investigative journalism becomes very pertinent to ascertain the truth rather than drag the image of an organization through the mud for lack of requisite information.
The Anambra command of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad said it would not take any legal action against Sahara Reporters but admonished journalists to cross-check facts and not be in a hurry to misinform the public and create wrong impressions and perceptions.
It equally advised Journalists not to be in a haste to run the police down and SARS in particular because SARS in Anambra state is reformed and poised to provide watertight security for the state.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Anambra state police command, SP Haruna Mohammed, also told our correspondent that those who carried out the operation that day were not SARS operatives.The PPRO said that the issue was still under investigation.