Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has accused the Nigerian Police of shielding indicted operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad unit (SARS) from persecution in the state.
Gov Wike in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle on Friday said the operatives were indicted by panel set up by the state government to investigate cases of alleged atrocities by the unit.
The unit which has been disbanded by the Federal Government following on-going #ENDSARS protests has been accused of profiling young Nigerians, intimidation, illegal arrest, extortion and murder.
Wike who had earlier banned the protest in the state, addressed protesting youth two days ago to pledge his support for the demand.
He twitted: “The Federal Government is trivialising the demands by #EndSARS protesters by directing State Governors to take charge of Tactical Commands of the Police.
“State Governors cannot take charge of Tactical Commands because they cannot employ or discipline anyone who errs.
“In Rivers State, we set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that indicted SARS officers.
“Instead of the Police authorities punishing the indicted officers, they shielded them and even promoted one to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General.
“Now the Federal Government wants us to set up another Commission of Inquiry when the report of the last one we set up was not implemented.
“I acted on intelligence to ensure that #EndSARS protest In Port Harcourt was not hijacked by miscreants.
“If I did not support it, I would not have addressed the protesters who are demanding a change in the way the Federal Government conducts the affairs of the country”.