NIGERIA – Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has directed Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), to overhaul the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) with immediate effect.
Laolu Akande, spokesman of the acting president, disclosed this in a statement.
The statement said the vice-president asked the IGP to ensure that SARS operatives act in adherence to the rule of law.
“Following persistent complaints and reports on the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that border on allegations of human rights violations, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Acting-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, has directed the Inspector General of Police to, with immediate effect, overhaul the management and activities of SARS and ensure that any unit that will emerge from the process, will be intelligence-driven and restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery and kidnapping, and apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences, and nothing more,” the statement read.
“The Acting President has also directed the IGP to ensure that all operatives in the emerging unit conduct their operations in strict adherence to the rule of law and with due regard to International Humanitarian LAw and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of suspects. The operatives should also bear proper identification anytime they are on duty.
“In the meantime, the Acting President has directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up a Committee that will conduct nation-wide investigation of the alleged unlawful activities of SARS in order to afford members of the general public the opportunity to present their grievances with a view to ensuring redress.”
There has been a campaign against the police outfit accused of illegalities such as extortion, intimidation and arbitrary arrest.