Following the alleged brutality by security operatives in several parts of the country, 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.
Over the weekend, many Nigerians took to the social media to express their anger over the activities of men of the SARS unit of the Nigerian police, calling for them to be proscribed.
Particularly on Saturday October 3, the #EndSars hashtag was the number one trend on 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 alleged shooting of a young boy in Ughelli, Delta state by SARS officials who abandoned him to die on the roadside while carting away with the victim’s Lexus jeep.
This IGP’s ban was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Force, Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba which warned officers against carrying out stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc with immediate effect.
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) October 4, 2020
Part of the statement read, “The Inspector General of Police 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.”
According to the Force spokesman, the IGP warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly.
All FSARS, STS, IRT & other Tactical @PoliceNG 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 pic.twitter.com/9xWQJhTDOP
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) October 4, 2020
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.”
This marks the fourth time, the Federal Government is placing a ban on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the period of four years,
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