Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has ordered operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to disengage from ‘stop and search’ activities. According to him, any operative caught violating will be answerable to Joshak Habila, deputy inspector-general of police in charge of operations.
He announced this after a meeting with SARS commanders in Abuja. Idris said the the DIG operations would be acting as SARS “strategic commander” in the country.
He also warned SARS operatives against acting as body-guards, delving into land matters and debt collection that were considered civil.
He also directed members of the unit to only embark on operations with the permission of the commissioner of police in charge of SARS in the police commands.
“You must operate in official uniform clearly marked for identification,” he said. “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 oversights unit of the force to monitor the activities of the SARS.
The IGP noted that the establishment of the unit was due to activities of the men of the underworld.
He said 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 men deployed to SARS would undergo training, continuous assessment and psychometric test to determine their suitability or otherwise.