The Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other tactical squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties with immediate effect.
The order follows outrage over the activities of the SARS.
Adamu said in a statement on Sunday by Force spokesman Frank Mba that no personnel of the Force is authorised to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti.
He further said: “Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices. 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. He however condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some personnel of the Squads. He has therefore ordered the X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of Tactical Squads and other police officers on the road.
“They are to ensure prompt arrest, investigation and prosecution of all erring police officers who violate these directives and other extant regulations of the Force.
“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 (AOR). He therefore charged them to ensure effective supervision and mentoring of the personnel of the Tactical Squads under their jurisdiction.”
Meanwhile, two SARS operatives and their civilian accomplice operating in Lagos State have been arrested for acts of professional misconduct including extortion and intimidation of innocent citizens.
The operational vehicle of the men has also been impounded and disciplinary procedure has already commenced against the defaulters.