Nigeria’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to, with immediate effect, overhaul the management and activities of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The order follows persistent complaints and reports on the activities of the SARS that border on allegations of human rights violations.
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, announced the directive in a statement signed on Tuesday.
In addition, the acting president asked the IGP to 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.
Osinbajo 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.
In the meantime, 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.