The Amnesty International has accused the police special anti-robbery squad (SARS) of torturing and killing people. It said it uncovered at least 82 occasions since January 2017.
The report alleged that SARS uses torture and ill-treatment “to execute, punish and extract information” from suspects, some of whom it said end up dead.
There have been nationwide campaigns for the scrapping of the unit and the police authorities have promised reform without any result.
AI accused police authorities of failing to address the abuse, saying no SARS official has been prosecuted.
The watchdog said SARS’ “horrific violations were carried out under the supervision of high-ranking police officers”.
“The systemic use of torture and other ill treatment by SARS officers for police investigations and the continued existence of torture chambers within the Nigerian Police Force points to an absolute disregard for international human rights laws and standards.
“In many cases, Amnesty International bore witness to the scars, bruises, and dried blood on victims’ bodies. Many of them were subjected to beatings with sticks and machetes and denied medical care.
“The victims of the police unit, set up to fight violent crimes, are predominantly male between the ages of 18 and 35, from low-income backgrounds and vulnerable groups.”
Osai Ojigho, AI country director, said: “The complete failure of Nigerian authorities to bring an end to the gross human rights violations perpetuated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad or to bring any SARS officer to justice is shocking and unacceptable.”