The menace disproportionately affecting
Nigeria’s growing tech industry.
While taking a stroll one night on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge in Lagos, West Africa’s largest city, Adegoke Olubusi was shot at by two SARS officers.
the co-founder of Helium Health; one of Nigeria’s innovative healthcare companies. Helium Health provides a suite of technologies to
healthcare organizations in Nigeria and other emerging markets to help them deliver services more efficiently.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is notorious for harassing its young people. It is a Nigerian Police Force unit under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, originally tasked with fighting crime.
Police officers profile young people, including those in the country’s burgeoning tech industry. Laptops, dreadlocks, premium smartphones and or tattoos are a major bait for this group that originally was intended to protect the youths but has fully morphed into what some foreign observers have described as a “terrorist
organisation”, and rightfully so.
In Olubusi’s case, the officers tried to get him into an unmarked van, as is their modus operandi.
“I was petrified, even confused by how intoxicated they were,” he narrated in his account. “I remember thinking about my mother’s reaction to finding my body lifeless on the streets of Lagos,” he added.
Olubisi’s story is similar to Yele Bademosi, another influential member of the
tech industry who is a VC and CEO at fintech startup, Bundle. Bademosi was kidnapped and extorted by SARS officers while heading home in