By Vincent Ujumadu

AWKA — THE Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has urged the personnel of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad, FSARS,    to respect people’s rights, warning that the police hierarchy would no longer tolerate illegal detention.

Addressing members of FSARS in Awka, the IG said that on no account should they detain any suspect beyond 48 hours, adding that anyone who contravened the directive risked dismissal from the Force.

SARS operatives in conference

Idris, who was represented by the national coordinator of X-Squad, Mr. Amaechi Elumelu, a deputy commissioner of police, DCP,    reminded them that membership of FSARS was voluntary and asked those who felt they could not cope with the reforms in the unit to opt out.

He said: “You are created and authorized to handle only armed robbery and kidnapping cases. You are barred from searching handsets and laptops of innocent citizens, unless the search is directly linked to a case or directed by IGP or any person or persons he so delegated.

“You are also prohibited from detaining any suspect beyond what the law says without recourse to court order.”

He explained that operatives of   FSARS would be trained and retrained regularly to equip them with modern working knowledge and skills to perform optimally in line with international best practices.

He also said that under the new rule of engagement of the reformed FSARS, officers  of the   unit would undergo medical examinations, especially   mental   and psychological tests, adding that a counseling department   had been put in place in the unit.

Similarly, he added,    a custody management system had been introduced in the unit for purposes of documentation and access to information about suspects.

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