The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, on Friday announced the ban of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force from conducting stop and search operations on roads except when necessary.
It would be recalled that recently, there was public outcry across the country over the high-handedness and corrupt tendencies of SARS leading to call for scrapping of the outfit by Nigerians in the social media, using the hashtag #EndSARSnow.
As a result of the allegations and protests, the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, promised to restructure and reposition the unit for effective service delivery.
While laying down new operational modalities for the outfit, IGP Idris warned members of the group against acting as body-guards, delving into land matters and debt collection that were considered civil.
He warned that members of the unit must only embark on operations with the permission of the commissioner of police in charge of SARS in the police commands.
His words, “You must operate in official uniform clearly marked for identification.
“I just want to warn you all here that any officer caught engaging in these activities will be dealt with accordingly.
“The Nigeria Police force under my leadership shall operate strictly guided by the human rights principles as enshrined in the United Nations charter on human rights”.
He mandated the Inspector-General of police’s monitoring units and the X-squad and other over-sight units of the force to monitor the activities of the SARS.
The police boss noted that the establishment of the unit was due to activities of the men of the underworld.
He said that as part of measures to check the unit, they would be solely mandated to confront only armed robbery cases and violent crimes in the country,
Idris also said that men deployed to SARS would undergo training, continuous assessment and psychometric test to determine their suitability or otherwise.