In compliance with the Presidential directive that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) be overhauled with immediate effect, the inspector general of police Mr. Ibrahim Idris on Tuesday renamed the department as Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
The force public relations officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood said in a statement in Abuja that the new outfit will be intelligence driven and will be restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery, kidnapping and the apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences only.
He said SARS teams nationwide would work under FSARS adding that similar to the previous reordering, a new commissioner of police had been appointed as the overall head of the FSARS nationwide.
“The inspector general of police in compliance with the Presidential directives has ordered the immediate overhauling of the SARS to address complaints and allegations on human rights violations against some of the personnel of SARS from members of the public in some parts of the country.
“In the new arrangement, a new commissioner of police has been appointed as the overall head of the FSARS nationwide.
“The FSARS under the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (FCIID) is henceforth to operate under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.
“The Commissioner of Police (FSARS) is answerable to the Inspector General of Police through the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations.
“In observance of full compliance with the Presidential directives, the FSARS will be intelligence driven and will be restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery, kidnapping and the apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences only”.
“New FSARS Commanders are being appointed for the FSARS across the country that will now exist and operate in the state and zonal commands under the commissioner of police (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
“A Federal SARS Commander of a Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) but not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will be in charge of FSARS in state and zonal commands across the country.”
Moshood said all commissioners of police had been directed by the police chief to comply with the directive with immediate effect and warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives.
He said the IGP X-Squad and Monitoring Unit had been mandated to go round the Commands and Police Formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance with the Presidential directives and apprehend any erring police officer.
While announcing a new training for FSARS personnel, the Police also insisted it would be transparent and work cordially with the National Human Rights Commission to conduct an investigation of the alleged unlawful activities of FSARS to address grievances from the public.
According to the Police, other measures to be implemented by the Force in observance of full compliance with the presidential directives are as follows:
- Human Rights Desk Officers for FSARS in every State to take complaints from the public and forward same to Force Headquarters, the officer will be answerable to the Commissioner of Police, FSARS at the Force Headquarters and not Commander FSARS in the States.
- Medical/Psychological evaluation of all FSARS personnel will be carried out immediately.
iii. Redesigning of new uniform with identity name tag for all FSARS personnel throughout the Country will be done immediately.
- Henceforth, FSARS personnel will not perform Stop and Search duties except on distress call to respond to armed robbery and kidnapping offences only.
The police also said a new training program to be organized by the Force in collaboration with some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local and international NGOs, and other Human Rights Organizations on core Police Duties, Observant of Human Rights and Handling, Care and Custody of Suspects have been directed by the Inspector General of Police for all Federal SARS personnel nationwide with immediate effect.
The Force also set up a committee of Senior Police officers, Technical Consultants, Human Rights/Civil Society organizations (CSOs) to review the activities of FSARS under the new arrangement.
The committee members are expected to pay unscheduled visits to FSARS formations across the country with particular attention to States with high complaints index, to assess facilities and situations in these States and submit report to the Inspector General of Police on regular basis.
The Force also urged aggrieved members of the public who have any complaint in the past or present of violation of their rights by any SARS personnel anywhere in the country to report through any of the following channels for investigation and redress.
- DIG, Department of Operations: 08037025670
- IGP X-SQUAD
0902 690 0729, 08078662130, 08174041000 – CALLS
0903 227 8905 – SMS
0903 562 1377 – whatsapp
Email: [email protected]
iii. IGP Monitoring Unit: [email protected], 08036242591
- Commissioner of Police, FSARS: 08033476852
- FORCE PUBLIC COMPLAINT BUREAU
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
- Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU)
08057000001 – Calls Only
08057000002 – Calls Only
08057000003 – SMS & whatsapp only
vii. [email protected], 08027757359
viii. [email protected], [email protected], 09051133035
- [email protected]
- [email protected], 07037887630