The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has caved in to public pressure and ordered the immediate re-organisation of the notorious Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, popularly known as SARS.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the police in Abuja on Monday.
It followed public outcry against the squad.
The social media had buzzed with calls for the dissolution of the squad at the weekend after several Nigerians accused SARS officials of inhumane treatments.
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar, on his Facebook timeline, also joined in the call to scrap SARS.
Several videos – under the #ENDSARS tag – had also surfaced of SARS officials manhandling citizens under different guises.
The statement read, “The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni concerned with public interest and the need to reposition the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for more efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians and ensure that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operates based on International Core Value of Policing with integrity and make sure the rule of law prevails in the operations and activities of the outfit, the IGP has directed the immediate re-organization of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide and instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force.
“In the new arrangement, a Commissioner of Police is now the overall head of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.
“The Police Zonal Commands, State Commands and Divisions will continue to operate anti-crime units/sections, crime prevention and control squads and teams imperative to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities in their Area of Responsibilities, and other crack squads necessary to sustain law and order and protection of life and properties in their Area of responsibilities (AOR).
“Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) will now exist and operate in the State and Zonal Commands under the Commissioner of Police (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters.”
Nigerians had however demanded a dissolution of SARS and not reorganisation.