Justin Sun, the owner of one of the most popular cryptocurrency widely used across Nigeria and Africa has voiced out against the recent police brutality in Nigeria, to support the EndSARS campaign in Nigeria
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Following years of horror stories of illegal extortion, detentions and gruesome murders at the hands of SARS targeted at young Nigerians. The Youths are out on the streets to demand that the government disband the police’s notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit.
For the past two days, young Nigerians have protested in front of the Lagos state house of assembly popularly lead by @mrmarconi. This long standing protest which has gone through day and at night came as a result of a long-running anti-SARS campaigns on social media platforms. At present, the protest have moved to other states including Abuja and also going international.
Meanwhile, SARS was initially set up in 1992 to fight incessant rise in armed robbery cases and has garnered reputation for tracking down popular criminals across the country.
The recent reports across social media popular on Twitter confirms that the SARS officers practically target and detain young men by accusing them of being online fraudsters including crypto traders of which Yele Bademosi, the CEO of Bundle Africa was a victim of the menace.
These division of the Nigerian Police is popular for brutal killings, illegal arrest and extortion and unwarranted search on young promising youths who simply work online. They practicalize their illegal acts simply on the evidence of owning a laptop or smartphone, and then request arbitrary and exorbitant bail fees before they leave any victim they happen to storm.
In more extreme cases just like Yele Bademosi explained his ordeal, SARS officers abduct civilian targets and force them to make withdrawals through their bank apps, most times they take them to locations to make ATM Withdrawals to regain their freedom.
I was harassed by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) yesterday in Okada town, in BENIN CITY, Nigeria.— Emmanuel Onuegbu (@NaijaCryptoGuy) September 25, 2020
I booked a https://t.co/EWmYD8zWxS 5seater vehicle going to Owerri on 24th Sep & the journey was peaceful until we got to Benin. Full story!@segalink #EndSARS
Most crypto traders have narrated their ordeals including the Naija Crypto Guy on Twitter who explained how he was harassed by this division of the Nigerian Police Force. He narrated how he was labeled a fraudster because he explained to them that he trades cryptocurrency.
Going further Emmanuel explained that the members of this division searched the following keywords on his mobile device. The keywords includes:
- US client
- Cashapp (this is a popular payments app that is also crypto friendly)
- Whitey etc.
Fruitless Bans So Far
The ongoing protests have already yielded some tangible results especially on paper and across most social media channels and across most popular influencers in the country. Though the Nigerian Police Force has put up a temporary ban on this division, Nigerians see the ban as unrealistic since it’s the fourth time the police force has announced restrictions on the unit’s operations in four years.
“The bans have so far been largely unclear and left to the discretion of state commissioners of police to “interpret”,” says Dapo Awobeku, program officer at EiE Nigeria, a youth-led civil advocacy group. “For the bans to be effective, they must be based on a well-thought-out process, not some reactionary, emergency notice as we have seen since 2017.”
Most other influenctial personnels have taken it upon themselves to progress the on-going campaign against SARS and until it yields a positive result.