The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned operations of the dreaded Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other ‘Tactical Squads’ of the Force from operating on Nigerian roads.This new update was released in a statement by the Police Relations Officer, Frank Mba, on Sunday afternoon.
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The ban is coming after so many Nigerians protested against the uncalled-for killings by the SARS Operatives in Nigeria.
The SARS unit were also accused of several human rights violations especially beating and shooting young Nigerians who are seen carrying laptop computers.
According to the statement, the ban would affect activities such as routine patrols and other conventional low-risk including stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc – with immediate effect.
“In addition, no personnel of the Force is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti.”“They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.
“The IGP’s directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under these guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.”
“Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices.”
The statement said the SARS are only to respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.The statement said the police chief condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by personnel of the squads.
“He has therefore ordered the X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of Tactical Squads and other police officers on the road.”
“They are to ensure prompt arrest, investigation and prosecution of all erring police officers who violate these directives and other extant regulations of the Force.”
“The IGP has equally warned that henceforth, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands and the FCT as well as their supervisory Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police, will be held liable for any misconduct within their Area of Responsibility (AOR).”
“He therefore charged them to ensure effective supervision and mentoring of the personnel of the Tactical Squads under their jurisdiction.”