Following calls on social media for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad on account of its nefarious activities, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered immediate reorganisation of the unit.
The police boss, in a statement on Monday by the Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, also ordered the investigation into all allegations and complaints against the operatives of the squad by the IGP X-Squad.
He noted that SARS had been doing well by curbing violent crimes, but expressed concern over the calls for its disbandment, noting that the unit would be reorganised and repositioned for efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians.
Idris said, “Under 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 to prevent and detect crimes in their areas of responsibility.
The IG further explained that the FSARS would now exist and operate in the state and zonal commands under a Commissioner of Police at the Force Headquarters.
“A Federal SARS commander of a rank of Chief Superintendent of Police and not below Superintendent of Police will be in charge of FSARS in state and zonal commands across the country,” he stated.
The statement explained that all Commissioners of Police had been directed by the IG to comply with the directive with immediate effect and to warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives.
It noted that the X-Squad had been mandated to go round the commands and police formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any errant police officer.
The police further stated that a new training programme to be organised by the Force in collaboration with some civil society organisations, local and international groups and human rights organisations on police duties and human rights would be held for all FSARS personnel nationwide.
The force asked anyone with complaints against SARS personnel to report through any of the following channels for investigation and further actions: IGP X-Squad, 09026900729 (calls); 09032278905 (SMS); 09035621377 (WhatsApp) and email: email@example.com.