By Samuel Oyejola
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has ordered the re-organisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SAS) following the social media campaign that calls for the total scrapping of the unit.
The IG also directed that all allegations against the unit to be investigated by the IGP X-Squad of the Force.
According to the statement by the Nigeria Police Force signed by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) Jimoh Moshood, 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.
Recently a social media campaign #ENDSARSNOW has been trending on some social media network calling for the scrapping of the operational unit of the force due to allegations of human rights abuses.
In spite the call for the scrapping of the unit, the Nigeria Police according to Moshood is confident of the effort of the SARS in combating violent crimes in the country.
“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 Rsponsibilities (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 a Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will be in charge of FSARS 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,” Moshood stated in the release.
The release also stated that a new training programme is to be organised by the fore in collaboration with 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.