The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, says a new policing arrangement to replace the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad will be announced “in due course”.
The PUNCH reports that the IGP on Sunday afternoon announced the dissolution of the special arm of the Nigeria Police Force.
The announcement came after days of online and offline protests against the brutality and extra-judicial killings by SARS, a specialised unit that was created over a decade ago to tackle armed robbery.
Over the years, however, SARS operatives started extorting money from youths driving big cars, using expensive phones, laptops or wearing dreadlocks.
The harassment has on several occasions degenerated to killings.
At the briefing, the IGP said, “The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force otherwise known as SARS is hereby dissolved in all the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory.”
The briefing was immediately followed by a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba. The statement was titled, ‘IGP Dissolves The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)’.
The statement partly read, “The IGP, while noting that the dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, observes that by this dissolution, all officers and men of the now-defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad are being redeployed with immediate effect.
“The IGP notes that the Force is not oblivious of the ever-present need to combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country which was before now the core mandate of the erstwhile Squad.
“He assures that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS would cause has been evolved and shall be announced in due course.
“Meanwhile, as part of measures to prevent a re-occurrence of events that gave rise to the dissolution of SARS, a Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum is being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.
“In addition, the Force is constituting an Investigation Team which shall include Civil Society Organisations and Human Rights Bodies to work with the Police in investigating alleged cases of human rights violations.
“The measure, the IGP believes, will enhance transparency and accountability in police services as well as providing a system of deterrence for erring police officers whose action clearly violates the rights of the citizenry.
“The IGP appreciates and commends all citizens particularly those who genuinely express their concerns for a better policing orientation in an organized, patriotic and civil manner.
“He reaffirms the determination of the Force to bequeath to the country a Police Force and System that is professional in service delivery and most importantly, accountable to the people.”