The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu 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.
Federal SARS and the Special Squads are also banned from carrying out routine patrolx and other conventional low-risk duties including stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc – with immediate effect.
A statement by DCP Frank Mba on Sunday said, “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 disguise 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 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.
Continuing Mba said, “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.