Officer Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police has banned the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad and other tactical squads in the police force from carrying out stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting roadblocks, and traffic checks.
This was a swift response to the cries, tweets and complaints of Nigerians concerning cases of police brutality involving FSARS and other Tactical Squads of the Nigerian Police. Many Nigerians have called for the proscription of the SARS using the hashtag #ENDSARS on Twitter. The hashtag trended again on Saturday after a Twitter user recorded and posted a video that showed FSARS shooting and killing a young lad at Ughelli, Delta State.
A Press Statement was made available to the media by Officer Frank Mba, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police. The statement revealed that 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.’
The X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit of the Nigeria Police have been ordered by the IGP to monitor the activities of FSARS and the tactical squads and make ‘prompt arrest, investigation, and prosecution of all erring police officers who violate these directives and other extant regulations of the
Mba said that the activities of many members of FSARS and Tactical Squads contravene the Standard Operating Procedure, SOP, the code of conduct, and Rules of Engagement. He said that the ‘Indiscrimate and unauthorised search of mobile phones, laptops, and smart devices’ was unprofessional and unacceptable.
The top echelon of the Nigeria Police have not left the cases lying down as they have begun to make an example of Inspector Sale James, Inspector Monday Uchiola and Okechukwu Ogbonna; two FSARS officers and a civilian counterpart. These men were arrested for extortion and intimidation of citizens.
The IGP, in his statement also warned Commissioners of Police, Commissioners of all State Commands, and supervisory Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police that they will be held responsible for any atrocities held in their Area of Responsibility (AOR). He urged the top officers to take stringent measures to supervise and mentor the personnel of the tactical squads in their jurisdiction.
‘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.’ the IGP stated in the Press Release