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This study was on human rights abuse and EndSARS protest in Rivers state. The total population for the study is 200 residents of selected in portharcourt, Rivers state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up youths, businessmen, married men and youths were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.

 Chapter one


1.1Background of the study

EndSARS started as a call for the disbandment of Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police Force that has earned notoriety for its brutality and human rights violations. It was first used in 2018 to raise awareness of allegations of violence and exploitation by SARS officials. The government announced structural changes to SARS but the alleged human rights violations and exploitation continued. In October 2020, reports of an unprovoked shooting of a boy in the streets of Delta State by SARS operatives were shared on social media. Although the Nigerian Police denied the shooting in this particular case, it was not enough to quell public anger as more videos of police shootings were shared across social media platforms. Celebrities and activists rallied for support on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and, in a matter of days, protesters lined the streets of Lagos and Abuja demanding an end to SARS. Pressured by the publicity that the protests had generated, the Nigerian government swiftly announced the disbandment of SARS. This move, however, was not enough to appease the protesters in light of similar pronouncements made previously by the government. For instance, in December 2017, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) announced that SARS had been banned from conducting stop and search operations following several reports of harassment. This ban was publicly re-announced by the IGP in 2018 and 2020, reflecting the ineffectiveness of previous orders. Similarly, in 2018, Nigeria’s acting president announced an overhaul of SARS, stating that the National Human Rights Commission would investigate cases of abuse. This statement was followed shortly by the announcement of a centralised FSARS (Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad) which would come under the supervision of the Inspector General of Police as opposed to the previous version which was under state Commissioners of Police. Mere weeks later, the IGP announced the disbandment of FSARS, stating that the unit would go back to being decentralised and under the command of state commissioners.4 In light of past practices and disappointments, protestors added to their list of demands, calling for compensation of victims of SARS brutality, retraining of police officers, and trials of indicted SARS officials (Business Insider Africa (October16, 2020)

SARS was created in 1992 as a response to violent crime, particularly armed robbery. However, the police unit has come to be known for its high-handed tactics and gross violations of human rights. Transgressions cut across a range of human rights including the right to life, freedom from torture, right to a fair trial, right to privacy, and freedom of assembly, all of which are rights protected by the Nigerian constitution (BBC News (October 14, 2020),

Statement of the problem

Violations of the right to life have come in various forms such as extrajudicial killings, shooting of protesters, and other random, unprovoked killings. The Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) found in a 2010 report that extrajudicial executions are a routine feature of policing in Nigeria. Human Rights Watch estimates that over 10,000 people were killed by the Nigerian police in the eight years spanning 2000 through 2007. The head of the Enugu State division of SARS allegedly told a researcher of the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria that he ordered the extrajudicial executions of only persons whom he knew to be guilty. These killings do not always happen secretly, hidden away in police cells and dungeons. In August 2019, videos surfaced showing men of the Nigerian police force executing arrested suspects in the streets of Lagos. The suspects were alleged to belong to a criminal ring that disguised themselves as phone buyers to lure and rob unsuspecting victims. The police arrested two of the suspects, only to have their summary execution recorded shortly after. Amateur clips of the police shooting the victims in the full glare of the public went viral. In reaction, the Nigerian police announced the arrest of the officers involved (Daily Tribune, October 5, 2020). Based on this the researcher wants to investigate the human rights abuse and EndSARS protest in Rivers state

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the relationship between human right abuse and EndSARS protest in Rivers state
  2. To find the causes of EndSARS in Rivers state
  3. To ascertain whether Nigeria police abuse human right in Rivers state

Research hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: there is no relationship between human right abuse and EndSARS protest in Rivers state.

H1: there is relationship between human right abuse and EndSARS protest in Rivers state

 H02: Nigeria police do not abuse human right in Rivers state

H2: Nigeria police abuse human right in Rivers state

Significance of the study

The study will be very significant to student, Nigeria police, human right commission, the general public and the policy makers. The study will give a clear insight on the human rights abuse and EndSARS protests in Rivers state. The study will also serve as a reference to other researchers that will embark on the related topic

Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study covers human rights abuse and EndSARS protest in Rivers state. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


Human right: Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected in municipal and international law

Abuse: use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse

EndSARS protest: End SARS is a decentralised social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria


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