- More reforms have been introduced to the routines of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force
- The move comes after outrage from Nigerians concerning the activities of the unit in recent times
- The Lagos state police commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu has revealed the new measures to curtail the excesses of SARS
The Lagos state police commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu has banned the command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit from detaining suspects in their cells.
The commissioner also directed they must only move out on information and go straight to the venue where they must notify the area commander before carrying out their operations.
Odumosu made these disclosures during the Channels Television Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday, October 7.
He said operatives attached to the tactical squads of the command would have to sign an undertaking committing them to professional best practices as they go about their duties.
According to him, he held a lecture with the officers of the command on Monday, October 5 to sensitise them on the new directive of the Inspector General of Police, IGP as part of measures to make the police more responsive.
The police boss expressed confidence that the new measures would be more effective than earlier directives issued to curtail the excesses of SARS operatives.
“I gave a directive that they must not detain anybody in their cells any longer. They can only detain at my office or at the area commander’s office.
And the area commander must interview any suspect they want to detain and ascertain that the suspect had done what warranted being detained.
“It will be better than what has been obtained because there is more supervision. They gave their words but I am going a step further because they are all signing undertaking in writing to comply with the directives of the IG and failure to adhere to the rules, the undertaking shall serve as evidence and they will be dealt with according to extent laws they all got the memo.”
When asked about SARS operatives whom residents claimed to have seen on Monday engaging in illegal patrols despite the IGP’s ban the previous day, Odumosu explained that not all plain-clothed policemen were of SARS.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that the IGP in response to calls and agitation from Nigerians to disband SARS, banned personnel of the unit from carrying out routine protocols.
The new directive from the IGP also affects operatives of other tactical squads of the police such as the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and the Anti-Cultism Squad.
The operatives, according to the order are to desist from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties - stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks.
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