Barring last minute change, Nigeria police headquarters will post a notorious commander of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Kolo Yusuf, to Kano as commissioner of police.
Until its dissolution in October 2020 in the wake of nationwide protests, SARS was notorious for rights abuses, torture, arbitrary killings and detention of suspects.
Mr Yusuf, who is now in charge of Special Tactical Command at the force headquarters, had headed SARS in Kano, where he was accused of torture, arbitrary killings and detention of suspects.
But credible sources told DAILY NIGERIAN that the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, had lobbied the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali and chairman of the Police Service Commission, Musliu Smith to post Mr Kolo to Kano in order to help the ruling party rig election in the state in 2023.
A source familiar with the planned posting said the IGP, who is out of the country, had given the governor assurance of the posting after his return from an oversea trip.
The source also told this newspaper that the governor will meet with Mr Kolo this weekend in order to set agenda for him.
According to insiders, the governor often used the police to repress opposition or file bogus charges against his perceived enemies.
Among the governor’s critics the police or secret police arrested and charged are Muaz Magaji, Muhuyi Magaji, Danbilki Kwamanda, Yunusa Dangwani, Salisu Yahaya Hotoro.
Kolo’s Past Atrocities
According to a BBC Africa Eye documentary released in February 2020 and titled, “The Torture Virus,” Mr Kolo tortured a young man in Kano, Hassan Alfa, to death under false allegations of armed robbery.
A Federal High Court in Kano, in a case filed by human rights lawyer, Audu Bulama Bukarti, against the police, found that Mr Hassan died as a result of the beating he received in police detention and that Mr Kolo was personally involved in the brutality.
The court ordered that Mr Kolo and other officers of the defunct SARS in Kano to be investigated by the police, and then awarded N10m cost against the officers involved.
Mr Kolo, who neither paid the cost nor investigated by the police authorities, was promoted to the rank of deputy commissioner of police and later commissioner of police.
Mr Bukarti said in the BBC documentary that no action had been taken against Mr Kolo or any of the other policeman indicted by the court.