The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, in compliance with Acting Pesident Yemi Osonbajo’s directive, has ordered the immediate overhaul of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to address complaints and allegations of human rights violations against some of the personnel of SARS across the country.
In the new arrangement, a Commissioner of Police has been appointed as the overall head of the FSARS nationwide. This was according to the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, in a media release issued Tuesday.
“The FSARS previously under the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (FCIID) is henceforth to operate under the department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja. The Commissioner of Police (FSARS) is answerable to the IG through the Deputy Inspector of Police, Department of Operations.”
He said that in observance of full compliance with the presidential directive, the FSARS would be intelligence-driven and restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery, kidnapping and the apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences only.
“New FSARS Commanders are being appointed for the FSARS across the country that will now exist and operate in the State and Zonal Commands under the CP (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters, Abuja,” the FPRO disclosed.
According to the release, a Federal SARS Commander of the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) but not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will be in charge of FSARS in State and Zonal Commands across the country.
Moshood added that the IG has directed all the CPs to comply with this directive with immediate effect and warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives. The IGP X-Squad and Monitoring Unit have been mandated to go round the Commands and Police Formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance with the presidential directive and apprehend any erring police officer.
He said that a new Standard Operational Guidelines and Procedures, and code of conduct for all FSARS personnel to ensure that the operations of the FSARS is in strict adherence to the rule of law and with due regards to international human rights law and constitutionally guaranteed rights of suspects will be enforced by the Commissioner of Police, FSARS.
Other measures the Force is to implement in observance of full compliance with the presidential directive are: Human Rights Desk Officers for FSARS in every state to take complaints from the public and forward same to Force Headquarters.
He added further that the officer would be answerable to the Commissioner of Police, FSARS at the Force Headquarters and not Commander FSARS in the states.
He said: “Medical/Psychological evaluation of all FSARS personnel will be carried out immediately, redesigning of new uniform with identity name tag for all FSARS personnel throughout the country will be done immediately.
“Henceforth, FSARS personnel will not perform Stop and Search duties except on distress call to respond to armed robbery and kidnapping offences only among several others.
“However, aggrieved members of the public who have any complaint in the past or present of violation of their rights by any SARS personnel anywhere in the country are to report through any of the following channels for investigation and redress.
“DIG, Department of Operations: 08037025670, IGP X-SQUAD, 0902 690 0729, 08078662130, 08174041000 – CALLS. 0903 227 8905 – SMS. 0903 562 1377 – WhatsApp. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, IGP Monitoring Unit:email@example.com, 08036242591, CP FSARS: 08033476852.
“Force Public Complaint Bureau: 07056792065 Calls/SMS/WhatsApp. 08088450152 Calls/SMS/WhatsApp. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, Twitter: @PoliceNG, www.facebook.com/ngpolice.
“Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU): 08057000001, 08057000002 – Calls only. 08057000003 – SMS and WhatsApp only. Twitter: @PoliceNG_PCRRU, www.Facebook.com/PolicePCRRU.
“NGOS/CSOS: firstname.lastname@example.org,08027757359, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 09051133035 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, 07037887630.”