A Canadian Judge has denied asylum to ex-member of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad due to his association with the brutal unit and the Nigeria Police Force as a whole.
In October 2020, SARS was scrapped after a nationwide protest against its decades of harassment, intimidation, extortion, robbery and extrajudicial killing of more than 100,000 citizens.
Court document said the cancellation of the dangerous squad was not enough for Judge Sébastien Grammond to favourably consider Olushola Popoola’s request for asylum.
Mr Grammond arrived at the decision on April 8 after Mr. Popoola asked for a judicial review of the decision of the Canadian immigration department, which had earlier declared him inadmissible into the country because of his association with the Nigeria Police Force.
Grammond ruled: “I am dismissing his application because the decision-maker reasonably assessed the relevant factors for deciding whether Mr Popoola made a knowing and significant contribution to the crimes committed by the Nigerian Police Force.”
The court gathered that Popoola served as a police officer between 2002 and 2015 when he left the force to leave Nigeria for United States. He crossed into Canada from the U.S. where he has been seeking asylum in a bid to settle permanently.
Popoola argued that he did not partake in brutal violence and other forms of criminality that SARS carried out in the course of his service, and added that he should be considered as a civil ex-officer due to his voluntary exit from the force.
But Mr Grammond disclosed that Popoola could reasonably be assumed to know about the murderous and exploitative activities of SARS, even if he did not participate personally.
The Judge ruled: “Since Mr. Popoola reasonably knew that when he was a member of the SARS the suspects he handed over to the criminal investigation department would be subject to human rights violations.
“The tribunal finds this to be a significant contribution to the criminal purpose of the organisation since he had the knowledge of what could befall the individual subject to investigation.”