Inspector-General of Police Further Restrictions On TheOperations Of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad


The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has further given an order and directive in deregulating the activities and operation of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad. The circular was released yesterday from the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Abuja.



 National attention has again been drawn to the re-surging trend of unprofessional conducts by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), State Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS),

Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS), State Anti-Kidnapping Units, and other Special Units under varied nomenclature that operates in mufti across all Formations, Zones, and State commands.

2. In utter disregard to consistent warnings, previous orders, their professional training, international protocols, constitutional dictates, Force policies, and ethical standards these special operatives have continued to drag the Force into acts that pitch us against the citizens that we were engaged, paid, and statutorily obligated to serve and protect. For the avoidance of doubt, the United Nations and African Union Protocols expressly provide for the right to life, dignity, liberty and presumption of the innocence of an offender until otherwise proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction. Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria similarly guarantees the inalienable rights of citizens.

3. In essence no component of our laws or international protocols authorizes the unlawful killing or degrading treatment of fellow citizens as law enforcement agents and no element of our professional training or ethical standards permits any police personnel to deploy lethal weapons either consciously or otherwise except as provided for in our statutes and in Force Order 237. Unfortunately, all the recent incidents of abuse of police powers violated these provisions.

4. The Nigeria Police remains a disciplined organization that strives to advance its covenant with the citizens in relation to protecting their lives and property and safeguarding them against any form of threat, extortionist tendency, or degrading treatment. It has, therefore, become expedient to reinforce the extant Force Accountability Policy which holds any officer professionally and criminally liable for the consequences of their actions.

5. In order to address these resonating unprofessional conducts, it is directed as follows:

1. Any police personnel that, henceforth, abuse his or her powers in a manner that degrades, endangers or threatens the life and other fundamental rights of the citizens shall be promptly arrested, processed through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service. In addition, such a person could be charged to court in consonance with their level of criminal liability in the instance.

2. All the operatives of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), State Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS}, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS}, Anti-Kidnapping Squads (AKS) and any other Unit of the Force that operates in mufti under any special nomenclature are banned from routine patrols on the highways and streets. Their operational deployments are to be limited to responses to specific security breaches including armed robbery, kidnapping or other violent incidents and in such instance, they must be expressly authorized by the appropriate police authority

3. All the operatives of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS}, State Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT}, Special Tactical Squad (STS), Anti-Kidnapping Squads (AKS) and any other Unit of the Force that operates in mufti under any special nomenclature are also henceforth, banned from engaging in conventional, low-risk duties including stop and search, mounting checkpoints or roadblocks, undertaking traffic duties, searching of the persons or assets of any citize71 on the streets and other functions which are within the purview of the uniformed conventional police detachments.

4. The indiscriminate, unauthorized, and degrading search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart electronic devices of citizens by the Special Units and all Police operatives of different Formations, Zones, Commands and Units is hereby banned. The only exception is if such an act is in furtherance to a specific case that has been reported and is a subject of criminal investigation in specific Formation, Command, Police Station or Unit. In which case, due process must be followed by the investigating team.

5. All recent cases of abuses of power and violation of rights of citizens by FSARS, SARS, IRT, STS and other police Teams should be compiled by the Heads of all Police Formations, Commands and Units and forwarded to the Office of the Inspector General of Police not later than Friday 9th October 2020. The returns to include the Dates of the Incident, Venues of the Incidents, the Special Team Involved, Details of the Officers Involved, Details of the Incident, Fatalities/ Injuries/ Damages (If Any), Actions Initiated by the Head of the Concerned Command, and the Current Status of the Matter.

6. The CP X-Squad, Force Provost Marshall (FPM) and IGP Monitoring Unit are to immediately coordinate and deploy joint teams across all the 36 States Commands and the FCT with a view to enforcing this Order. Any personnel of the Special Units found violating the Order must be arrested and escorted to the Force Headquarters for appropriate actions. A weekly update on this operation must be forwarded to the Office of the Inspector General of Police for review and appropriate directives

7. All Heads of Departments, Zonal Inspectors General of Police, Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers or Sectional Heads are to strengthen their supervisory control procedures and frameworks towards enforcing discipline among all ranks in their jurisdiction as they stand the risk of being held vicariously liable for supervisory ineptitude should any component of this Order be violated by operatives of the Special Units in their Formations/ Commands. In this regard, they are to also set up a Monitoring and Enforcement Teams to give effect to this Order and Directives as a complement to the Team being dispatched from the Force Headquarters.

8. The Force Police Public Relations Officer is to ensure that the members of the public are widely informed of this development. In addition, the Force Police Public Relations Officer should coordinate with the Heads of all Commands to compile dedicated phone numbers and other real-time social media platforms through which citizens can furnish complaints about any violation of this Order and avail the public.

6. The enforcement of this Order and Directives is with immediate effect. All addressees and to make it a subject of the consistent general lecture, and acknowledge receipt confirming compliance not later than 8th October, 2020, please”.

All these reforms are meant to discipline the members of FSARS over the number of extra-judicial killing in Nigeria. Many Nigerians have suffered in the hands of FSARS, which led to the alleged killing of a young man on Saturday in Lagos and on Sunday a boy in Apo, Abuja.

The killings almost led to a national protest, which was later suspended as a result of the quick action taken by the IGP to reform and suspend the operation of the unit. 

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