The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned the personnel of the notorious Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) from routine patrols and conducting other low-risk duties like stop and search duties, mounting of roadblocks, and traffic checks with immediate effect.
This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.
The statement said the IGP 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.
It added that henceforth no personnel of the Police Force is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. “They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.”
The statement read partly, “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.
“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.”
This comes few hours after a young man was allegedly shot in front of a hotel in the Ughelli area of Delta State by FSARS operatives.
Nigerians had taken to social media to condemn in strongest terms the shooting. Nigerians have been calling for the proscription of FSARS for years. They are accused by their critics of being notorious for torture of suspects and extra-judicial killings.