The United Kingdom government has admitted that it offered training and equipment to the recently disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The admission came after the British Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, initially denied the fact.
In a recent letter to Member of Parliament (MP, Labour) Kate Osamor, Duddridge admitted that British officials trained officers of SARS between 2016 and 2020.
The Minister said SARS officers took part in training “designed to improve human rights, training on public finance, and community policing workshops”.
Also, Duddridge confirmed that radio equipment was availed to the Nigerian police which was used by SARS as at that time.
While reacting to Duddridge’s admittance, MP Osamor, who had asked the UK government to disclose any ties to SARS, said: “It is shocking that in the middle of global protests to End SARS our government appears to have had no idea whether or not it was funding those very units.”
She said she had been told “categorically” by the Minister earlier in October that no funding was made to SARS departments.
She said: “The government has now been forced to admit that it not only spent millions training SARS but also directly supplied them with equipment.
“The government now needs to explain how and why it ever felt it was appropriate to train and equip security forces which were known to have taken part in torture and extra-judicial killings.”