The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, CP Imohimi Edgal , has begun the implementation of the recommendations of a panel of inquiry set up to look into activities and unprofessional conducts of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad , SARS and those of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Cultism units.
Briefing journalists at the command headquarters in Ikeja, CP Imohimi Edgal said that the first step would be to immediately implement the short term aspect of the report with a view to ensuring that operatives of the concerned squad and units discharged their duties professionally and in line with international best practices.
For the long term recommendations, the CP said that would need to be reviewed and approved by the Force Headquarters.
The panel which was headed by a retired Commissioner of Police and had as its members journalist, lawyers and members of civil societies ,were charged with the responsibility of making recommendations aimed at putting a stop to worrisome issues such as investigation of civil matters, illegal detection, prolonged and unconstitutional detention as well as safety of exhibits, welfare of suspects and detainees, by operatives of the concerned squads.
The panel was also charged to look into several complaints on sexual abuses, molestation in any form, and right to bail with emphasis that bail must remain free and any other areas that it deemed reasonable to modify, particularly in the SARS.
Consequently, the CP assured Lagosians that the constant check on activities of investigative agencies in the state: be it the SARS, Anti-Kidnapping or Anti-cultism units had been ongoing adding that it was the major reason why he set up the panel on assumption of duty as the state’s CP.
CP Edgal, however, frowned at what he described as false information posted by some Nigerians on their twitter pages, which claimed that a young man was shot in the head by a SARS operative in Lagos, an action the handler said prompted Lagosians to join in the campaign to scrap SARS.
He wondered why such incident whose authenticity could not be ascertained would be published saying, “First of all, I have confirmed from the DPO of Adekunle, Yaba and the Area Commander that has overall supervisory role over that entire area and nothing like that was ever reported or ever happened. Secondly, I sent plain clothes policemen from SIB who went round the area to ask if anything of such happened, everyone approached claimed not to be aware.
“I know Lagosians very well, if such incident ever happened, certainly, the photograph and identity of the victim would long have been published.
“Again, the matter would have been reported at the nearest police station and I know that Lagosians would have demanded for justice.”