By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA — FOLLOWING public outcry over the activities of Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, across the country, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, has directed the immediate and total reorganisation of all SARS outfits in the country.
The reorganisation, according to the IGP, is to reposition the unit for more efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians and ensure that its operated based on International core value of policing with integrity.
Similarly, the IGP also ordered the S–Squad, which is directly under his command, to investigate all allegations levelled against personnel of SARS and recommend punitive actions for them.
Force Headquarters, in a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood, said: “The Nigeria Police Force has observed the recent trends of event in the social media on the#ENDSARSNOW and the controversy being generated by the innuendos from the allegations and other misconceptions as it concerns the operational roles and activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Undoubtedly, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, had been doing very well in fighting violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnappings and cattle rustling in the country in recent time and this has resulted in drastic reduction of incidents of the mentioned violent crimes nationwide.
“However, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, is concerned about public interest and the need to reposition the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, for more efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians and ensure that SARS operates based on international core value of policing with integrity and make sure the rule of law prevails in the operations and activities of the outfit.
‘’He has, therefore, directed the immediate re-organisation of SARS nationwide and instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the personnel across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force.
“In 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 responsibilities, and other crack squads necessary to sustain law and order and protection of life and properties in their Area of Responsibilities, AOR.
“Federal Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, will now exist and operate in the state and zonal commands under the Commissioner of Police, F-SARS at the Force Headquarters.
“A Federal SARS Commander of the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP and not below Superintendent of Police, SP, will be in charge of F-SARS in state and zonal commands across the country.
“All commissioners of police have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to comply with this directive with immediate effect and warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives.
“The IGP X-Squad has been mandated to go round the commands and police formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any erring police officer.”
“Furthermore, a new training program to be organized by the Force in collaboration with some Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, local and international NGOs, and other human rights organizations on core police duties, observant of human rights and handling, care and custody of suspects, have been directed by the Inspector General of Police for all Federal SARS personnel nationwide with immediate effect.
“However, aggrieved members of the public who have any complaint in the past or present of violation of their rights by any Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, personnel anywhere in the country are to report for investigation and further actions.’’