Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to with immediate effect, overhaul the management and activities of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS).
According to a statement on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the IGP is to ensure that any Unit that will emerge from the process, will be intelligence-driven and directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to set up a panel to investigate the alleged unlawful activities of SARS.
“Following persistent complaints and reports on the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that border on allegations of human rights violations, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to, with immediate effect, overhaul the management and activities of SARS and ensure that any Unit that will emerge from the process, will be intelligence-driven and restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery and kidnapping, and apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences, and nothing more.
“The Acting President has also directed the IGP to ensure that all operatives in the emerging Unit conduct their operations in strict adherence to the rule of law and with due regard to International Human Rights Law and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of suspects. The operatives should also bear proper identification anytime they are on duty.
“The Acting President has directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up a Special Panel that will conduct an investigation of the alleged unlawful activities of SARS in order to afford members of the general public the opportunity to present their grievances with a view to ensuring redress,” the statement read.
There have been persistent calls by Nigerians on the federal government for several months on social media (especially Twitter), for a disbandment of the arm of the force with the hashtag #EndSARS, following allegations of serial human rights violations especially of youth by SARS operatives across the country.
The most recent attempt however, was a petition sent to the Office of the President by the Reform Nigeria Police Movement on 5th August, demanding a public inquiry into the activities of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), a copy of which was posted on the Twitter account of its Convener, Segun Awosanya.
We WON Guys! #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG @julietkego @Tutsy22 @DrJoeAbah Time to build a new. The #NewNigeria is real. Congrats to @PoliceNG as we begin to reform. Out with the Old and welcome the New. ???? #OsinbajoDelivers pic.twitter.com/jHlyjbirsn
— SEGA L’éveilleur®? (@segalink) August 14, 2018
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.