CONFLICTS

Amnesty: Nigerian police squad tortures to extract bribes

  • FILE- In this Saturday Feb. 7, 2015 file photo Nigeria police officers block a road in the city of Abuja, Nigeria. An elite Nigerian police squad set up to combat violent crime is torturing detainees to extract lucrative bribes and confessions, Amnesty International said in a report published, Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016 The report says the Special Anti-Robbery Squad demands bribes, steals and extorts money from criminal suspects and their families. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga, File)

    FILE- In this Saturday Feb. 7, 2015 file photo Nigeria police officers block a road in the city of Abuja, Nigeria. An elite Nigerian police squad set up to combat violent crime is torturing detainees to extract lucrative bribes and confessions, Amnesty International said in a report published, Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016 The report says the Special Anti-Robbery Squad demands bribes, steals and extorts money from criminal suspects and their families. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Thursday, May. 1, 2014 file photo, a police officer stand guards during a demonstration in Lagos, Nigeria. An elite Nigerian police squad set up to combat violent crime is torturing detainees to extract lucrative bribes and confessions, Amnesty International said in a report published Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016. The report says the Special Anti-Robbery Squad demands bribes, steals and extorts money from criminal suspects and their families. ( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

    FILE- In this Thursday, May. 1, 2014 file photo, a police officer stand guards during a demonstration in Lagos, Nigeria. An elite Nigerian police squad set up to combat violent crime is torturing detainees to extract lucrative bribes and confessions, Amnesty International said in a report published Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016. The report says the Special Anti-Robbery Squad demands bribes, steals and extorts money from criminal suspects and their families. ( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)  (The Associated Press)

A new Amnesty International report says an elite Nigerian police squad set up to combat violent crime is torturing detainees to extract lucrative bribes and confessions.

The report says the Special Anti-Robbery Squad demands bribes, steals and extorts money from criminal suspects and their families and is "fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption."

Police spokesman Deputy Commissioner Donald Awunah did not respond to requests for comment. London-based Amnesty says its questions met with a police denial that any torture occurs.

The report says many officers bribe police chiefs to get onto the special squad where "torture is a lucrative business."

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari promised to stamp out endemic corruption when he won elections in March 2015, but it is proving an uphill battle.