The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has backed the decision of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to ban the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other tactical squads of the force from routine patrols.
There has been widespread condemnation of the way SARS has been carrying out its duties. The squad has been accused of extrajudicial killings, brutality, and extortion.
In a statement by its Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, the NGF said the ban would end the menace of SARS.
However, the governors asked the IGP to enforce the ban so “that there will be no reversal of the unorthodox enforcement practices being complained against”.
MEANWHILE, the Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Imohimi Edgal embarked on measures towards implementing the IGP’s directives.
Edgal told The Guardian on the telephone that no member of the squad would be issued firearms except for guard duties, at the base and to respond to violent crimes.
He stated that all FSARS teams on routine patrols had been withdrawn in compliance with Adamu’s order.
According to him, FSARS officers have the right to wear jackets with the inscription ‘FSARS’.
On his part, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, condemned reports of infractions to state the anti-robbery squad.
He said he had directed the IGP police to strengthen the outfits monitoring the activities of police officers to ensure professionalism and service delivery.
Dingyadi said the calls for the scrapping of the squad meant it needed to be reformed.
He added that the newly inaugurated Servicom Unit of the ministry had been mandated to work closely with the Police Public Complaint Unit and relevant department of the Police Service Commission to fast-track the resolution of all cases of infractions against police officers.
Also, the Senator representing Kaduna Central at the Upper chamber, Uba Sani, criticised the squad for attacking innocent Nigerians.
In a statement, he said for two decades the squad had brutalized many Nigerians, adding that the testimonies of victims were not pleasant to hear.