Canada has resisted the claim of a former member of this Specific Anti-Robbery Squad, Olushola Popoola, seeking Refugee from the North American state.
Popoola’s Application for Refugee was rejected by the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board in Canada since he had been a part of the defunct unit of the Nigeria Police Force between 2002 and 2015.
Popoola left Nigeria in 2016 for the United States until he travelled to Canada, where he claimed refugee status. His claim was, nevertheless, suspended while his case has been called the Immigration Division for a determination of his inadmissibility.
According to the Canadian immigration section, Popoola was then found “inadmissible pursuant to section 35(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 [the Act]” since” the Nigeria Police Force, along with the SARS particularly, have perpetrated crimes against humanity from 2002 to 2015″ such as”corruption and impunity” and”extrajudicial killings”.
Popoola afterwards approached the Federal Court of Canada to seek judicial review of his decision of inadmissibility, asserting he had resigned in 2011 however, the Force didn’t accept his resignation, hence he continued until 2015.
However, the presiding judge, Sébastien Grammond, on April 8, 2021, dismissed the application for judicial review whilst keeping the decision of the Immigration Division.
Grammond also stated Popoola resigned for personal reasons, not because he learned of human rights abuses.
“I’m ignoring his application since the decision-maker reasonably analyzed the applicable factors for determining whether Mr Popoola made an understanding and important contribution to the offences perpetrated by the Nigerian Police Force,” the judge ruled.
The PUNCH had previously reported the allegations of human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings culminated in months of nationwide protests in Nigeria past October with youths thronging the streets looking for justice for Nigerians unjustly murdered by SARS operatives.
The police authorities afterwards disbanded SARS and announced the formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team to replace the defunct authorities unit but human rights abuses cannot be said to have been ceased.