Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), has ordered a total reorganisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the force.
Adamu gave the charge at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Monday during his inaugural conference with strategic police officers in the country. In attendance at the conference were Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police across all commands and formations in Nigeria.
The expected reorganisation of SARS couldn’t have come at a better time following cries of alleged intimidations, harassment and unjust killing of innocent citizens by SARS, leading to calls for its restructuring or outright scrapping.
Meanwhile, the IGP said that the reorganisation would involve reforms in SARS’ mode of operations with emphasis on orientation, ethics and function delineation, among others.
“A comprehensive reform both in terms of ethics, mode of operation, nomenclature and orientation, function delineation, command and control, weaponry, and accountability mechanism will be undertaken in SARS.
“This is with a view to giving full, clear, measurable and accountable intervention to the presidential directives on reform and re-orientation of the unit as recently handed down to the Force leadership. A reorganisation proposal to this effect is being currently studied preparatory to its being implemented.
“At the end, a protocol that will document the outcome of the reform shall be developed. The protocol shall become the Standard Operating Procedure of the unit which will be engaged for performance evaluation in aid of accountability process and disciplinary concerns,” Adamu noted.
Continuing, the IGP said that the new proposal would give birth to an entirely new and professional SARS that would protect the citizens.
“The proposal shall also act as guide for the review of specific operations involving the unit with a view to drawing lessons and identifying gaps which can be bridged in order to strengthen the operational engagements of the unit across all commands.
“This initiative will be undertaken in close collaboration with the presidency, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Interior, Police Service Commission and human rights groups, development partners and other strategic stakeholders. The proposed re-organisation will produce a new Special Anti-Robbery Unit, which will be professional enough to protect the citizens in their line of duty, but uniquely potent enough to respond to any major weapon-related organised crimes in the swiftest and most ethical manner.”
Meanwhile, the IGP also ordered the immediate disbandment of some ad-hoc and quasi investigation agencies, urging the Deputy Inspector General, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), to review all cases being handled by the agencies.
“The DIG FCIID is to takeover and review all cases that such teams are currently handling as well as official assets on charge to them and submit a detailed report to my office within two weeks. Similar comprehensive reorganisation will be undertaken in the investigative, intelligence and special operations arms of the Force comprising of the Police Mobile Force, Counterterrorism Unit and the Special Protection Unit.”
The reorganisation processes, the IGP noted, would eventually come down to zonal and state levels. He said that the essence was to restore order and declining policing standard, as well as “discourage the proliferation of multiplicity of outfits competing for operational space in the most unprofessional manner.
“We shall enhance the capacity of the Force towards situating our operations within the principles and practice of intelligence-led policing and human rights standards, and align our operations to modern dynamics,” the IGP said.