UPDATE: IGP Orders Investigation And Restructuring Of SARS Activities
Timothy Adegbola, LAGOS, Nigeria (GVE) – Following calls on social media for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on account of a cruel activities, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has ordered immediate re-organisation of the unit.
The IGP has also ordered an immediate probe into the allegations against the squad.
The police boss in a statement by the force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood on Monday in Abuja, also ordered the investigation of all infractions, allegations and complaints against the operatives of the squad by the IGP X-Squad.
He noted that the SARS had been doing well curbing crimes but expressed concern over the calls for its disbandment, noting that the unit would be re-organized and repositioned for efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians.
The IGP’s decision is coming few days after some Nigerians launched a campaign against the operation of the unit (SARS), calling for its outright sack. The group had through the hashtag #ENDSARS levelled weighty accusations of torture and extortion against the force.
IGP said: “Under the new arrangement, a Commissioner of Police is now the overall head of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.
“The Police Zonal Commands, State Commands and Divisions will continue to operate anti-crime units/sections, crime prevention and control squads and teams imperative to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities in their area of responsibility and other crack squads necessary to sustain law and order and protection of life and properties.”
He added that the FSARS will now exist and operate in the state and zonal commands under the Commissioner of Police at the Force Headquarters.
“A Federal SARS Commander of a Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police and not below Superintendent of Police will be in charge of FSARS in State and Zonal Commands across the country.”
The statement explained that all Commissioners of Police have been directed by the IG to comply with the directive with immediate effect and to warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives.
It noted that the X-Squad had been mandated to go round the commands and police formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any errant police officer.
The police further stated that a new training programme to be organized by the Force in collaboration with some civil society organizations, local and international groups and human rights organisations on police duties and human rights would be held for all FSARS personnel nationwide.
The force has however wants Nigerians to report “past or present” maltreatment to the right quarters.
Asking anyone with complaints against SARS personnel to report through any of the following channels for investigation and further actions:
IGP X-Squad: Calls: 0902 690 0729; SMS: 0903 227 8905; WhatsApp: 0903 562 1377
FORCE PUBLIC COMPLAINT BUREAU
08088450152 Calls/SMS/ whatsapp Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org