Monday 4 December 2017

#EndSARS: Police announce immediate reorganization of SARS, campaigners not satisfied

Following growing outrage against the activities of the police special anti-robbery squad, SARS, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the immediate reorganisation of the notorious unit.
A statement from the Force Public Relation’s Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said Mr. Idris also ordered the immediate investigation into the activities of SARS, with the aim of prosecuting cases of human right abuses.

“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni concerned with 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 the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (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, the IGP has directed the immediate re-organization of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) nationwide and instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the personnel of the Special Anti Robbery Squad across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force,” the statement said.

“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.”

Other changes were also made which include the following:

“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.

“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,”

The statement urged aggrieved members of the public to register their complaints through various channels.

“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 through any of the following channels for investigation and further actions
GP X-Squad: 0902 690 0729 – Calls 0903 227 8905 – SMS 0903 562 1377 – what’s app

07056792065 Calls/SMS/what’s app
08088450152 Calls/SMS/what’s app Email:, Twitter: @Policing
08057000001 – Calls Only
08057000002 – Calls Only
08057000003 – SMS & whatsapp only
Twitter: @PoliceNG_PCRRU

However Segun Awosanya, one of the lead campaigners against alleged infractions by SARS, welcomed the move, but said it fell short at satisfying their demand.

“We thank the IGP for at least showing that he has the ears of the masses,” Mr. Awosanya told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Monday afternoon. “But he should realise that the police cannot be the judge in its own case and this matter is beyond him.”

Mr. Awosanya said Nigerians have long suffered a myriad of brutal assaults by SARS personnel, and nothing but an absolute closure would make up for its alleged atrocities.
“Based on all the evidence we’ve gathered over the years, it’s very clear that SARS cannot be redeemed,” he said. “You can’t just reshuffle men whose only approach to policing is brutality and expect them to change overnight.”
“A new special squad that would tackle armed robbery should be formed and new personnel with modern training be put in charge,” he added.
Mr. Awosanya and his team met with Speaker Yakubu Dogara in September to submit a petition which contained alleged abuses by SARS operatives. A copy of the petition was also delivered to Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Both men have promised action, Mr. Awosanya said.

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