Nigeria bans SARS, others from routine patrols
The inspector general of police Mohammed Adamu Sunday banned the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the police from carrying out routine patrols in the country.
“All FSARS, STS, IRT & other Tactical Police Squads operating at Federal, Zonal & Command levels are hereby BANNED from carrying out routine patrols & other conventional low-risk duties – stop & search duties, checkpoints, roadblocks, traffic checks, etc – WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT,” Adamu said in a statement.
“Henceforth, no police personnel is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. All Police Force personnel must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.”
The ban came after the reported shooting of a youth in Ugheli area of Delta State on Saturday by a yet to be identified security personnel alleged to be a SARS personnel.
Nigeria’s state, labour and employment minister Festus Keyami, however, said “the outfit involved in this case is called Operation Delta Safe and not SARS.
“The victim was not shot as confirmed by his brother but fell out of the Police vehicle when being taken to the station after arrest. The brother said he was pushed; the Police said he jumped.”
In recent years, officials the SARS unit of the police have been in a public bad light for harassment, illegal arrest and extortion of citizens, especially youths.
There have also been cases of extrajudicial killings by some officials attached to SARS in different parts of Nigeria.
Saturday’s incident reignited the call for the scrapping or reform of SARS. The protests tagged #WarOnSARS #EndSARS had Nigerians, mostly youths share their bitter experiences in the hands of police officers.
Former Nigeria vice president Atiku Abubakar and former Senate president Bukola Saraki and other Nigerians called for a reform of the police unit.
Adamu, however, assured Nigerians that a new system will be in place to make heads of different police commands accountable for such misconduct in their area of supervision.
“Henceforth, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Commissioners of Police in charge of State/FCT Commands as well as their supervisory Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police, will be held liable for any Police misconduct within their Area of Responsibility (AOR),” Adamu said.
“The police authorities will step up monitoring of all activities of Tactical Squads (FSARS etc) and other police officers, nationwide, and ensure the prompt arrest, investigation and prosecution of all officers who violate these directives and other Force regulations.”
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