By Oluwakemi Ishola
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has applauded the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu for banning the routine patrol of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Nigeria Police Force.
Speaking to State House reporters at his residence in Abuja on Sunday, Professor Osinbajo described the routine attacks on young people as infuriating.
While condemning the actions of some officers he called bad “eggs of the Force”, the Vice President asked the police to stick to their mandates.
He also commended Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for speaking up against injustices meted out by some security operatives on young Nigerians.
Osinbajo’s remarks come shortly after IGP Adamu warned FSARS and other Tactical Squads of the Force against carrying out stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc with immediate effect.
According to a statement issued by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, the police boss warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly.
SEE FULL STATEMENT FROM THE IGP HERE:
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni 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 – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc – with immediate effect. In addition, no personnel of the Force is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear. The IGP’s directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under this guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.
Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through the 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 operatives of the FSARS and their civilian accomplice operating in Lagos State, INSPR Sale James, INSPR Monday Uchiola and Okechukwu Ogbonna, have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, for acts of professional misconduct including extortion and intimidation of innocent citizens. The operational vehicle of the men has also been impounded and the disciplinary procedure has already commenced against the defaulters.
The IGP reaffirms his commitment to bequeathing to Nigerians, a reformed Police Force that is accountable, responsible and ever ready to defend and uphold the rights of the citizens while discharging its duties of keeping the people safe and secure. He enjoins the citizens not to allow the misconduct by a few personnel of the Force to negatively impact on their belief, confidence and trust in the Police.
DCP FRANK MBA
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER