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Latest: IGP Bans SARs, Other Police Tactical Squads From Patrols And Checkpoints (Full statement below)

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The officers were warned against carrying out stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc with immediate effect.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force from embarking on routine patrols.

This IGP’s ban was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Force, Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.

The statement said the IGP “banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc – with immediate effect.”

According to the Force spokesman, the IGP warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly.

This, he said, included the “indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices,” adding that “they are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.”

Mba said the “directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under these guises to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.”

Following the alleged brutality by security operatives in several parts of the country, many Nigerians took to the social media to express their anger over the activities of men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian police, calling for the unit to be proscribed.

On Saturday, the #EndSars hashtag was the number one trend on social media app, Twitter for several hours, bringing back to the fore calls for the proper handling of rogue, high-handed police officials.

The outrage appeared to have been triggered by a post from a Twitter user who said he recorded SARS officials shooting “a young boy dead at Ughelli, Delta state . .  . in front of Wetland hotels. They left him for dead on the roadside and drove away with the deceased Lexus jeep.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

PRESS RELEASE

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – 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. They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.

The IGP notes that the FSARS and other Police Tactical Squads remain a critical component of the Force in confronting prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country. He however condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some 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.

Meanwhile, two operatives of the FSARS and their civilian accomplice operating in Lagos State, INSPR Sale James, INSPR Monday Uchiola and Okechukwu Ogbonna, have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, for acts of professional misconduct including extortion and intimidation of innocent citizens. The operational vehicle of the men has also been impounded and disciplinary procedure has already commenced against the defaulters.

The IGP reaffirms his   commitment to bequeathing to Nigerians, a reformed Police Force that is accountable, responsible and ever ready to defend and uphold the rights of the citizens while discharging its duties of keeping the people safe and secure. He enjoins the citizens not to allow the misconduct by a few personnel of the Force to negatively impact on their belief, confidence and trust in the Police.

DCP FRANK MBA

FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

FORCE HEADQUARTERS

ABUJA

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