At last, IGP bows to pressure, dissolves SARS

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau 

Apparently to avoid an escalation of the nationwide protests against the perceived brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Inspector-General of Police, (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, Sunday  dissolved the notorious Special Unit across the 36 states Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed. 

This cheering news was dropped Sunday afternoon in Abuja by Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in a statement authored by him.

Mba said 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 noted  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 assured 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”, MBA said.

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, the statement said.

In addition, Mba said, the Force is constituting an Investigation Team which shall include Civil Society Organizations 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”, Mba said.

The IGP  commended all citizens particularly those who genuinely expressed their concerns for a better policing orientation in an organized, patriotic and civil manner. He reaffirmed 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. 

Prompt News reports that the announcement came just after the protesters had marched to the Police High Command in the Central Business District (CBD) of Abuja on Sunday to register their protest but met a strong resistance from the Force.

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