Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, has banned the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (F-SARS) from conducting routine patrols, stop and search operations, mounting of roadblocks and traffic checks with immediate effect.
He also banned other tactical squads of the force, including the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligence Response Team, Anti-Cultism Squad, and other squads operating at the Federal, Zonal, and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by DCP Frank Mba, the force’s Public Relations Officer, on Sunday.
The announcement comes a few hours after the alleged shooting of a young man in front of a hotel in the Ughelli area of Delta State by some SARS operatives and the subsequent condemnation that followed by the public.
The statement read: “The IGP’s directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under these guises to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure, Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.
“Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorised search of mobile phones, laptops, and other smart devices.
“They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.
“The IGP notes that the FSARS and other Police Tactical Squads remain a critical component of the Force in confronting prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country.
“The IGP has equally warned, that henceforth, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands and the FCT as well as their supervisory Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police, will be held liable for any misconduct within their Area of Responsibility.
“He therefore charged them to ensure effective supervision and mentoring of the personnel of the Tactical Squads under their jurisdiction.”