The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, has ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to “overhaul the management and activities” of the Police unit the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
This development follows numerous complaints from Nigerians on social media, accusing SARS officers of several misconducts ranging from harassment, extortion, assault to extra-judicial killings.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Laolu Akande, the Acting President ordered the IGP to shut down the unit with immediate effect.
The statement reads, “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 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 Human Rights 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 Special Panel that will conduct an 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.”