Nigeria Police IG bans FSARS from patrols, ‘stop and search’ duties

L-R: Police IG Mohammed Adamu and FSARS operatives
L-R: Police IG Mohammed Adamu and FSARS operatives

Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) from routine patrols cum ‘stop and search’ duties.

Others banned from carrying out routine patrols include special formations like the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligence Response Team, Anti-Cultism Squad, and other squads operating at the Federal, Zonal, and Command levels.

In announcing their ban, they were also restricted from from conducting such other conventional low-risk duties like stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, and others with immediate effect.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, making this known on Sunday, in a statement entitled: ‘IGP bans FSARS, other police tactical squads from routine patrols’, said: “In addition, no personnel of the Force is authorised to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.”

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.

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“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.”

The police authorities came out with the statement a few hours after Nigerians had protested the alleged shooting of a young man in front of a hotel in the Ughelli area of Delta State by some SARS operatives.