IGP reads riot act for reformed SARS unit in Anambra


The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has read a riot act to the reformed Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS) now called IGP’s X-Squad across the nation, with a warning that any operative of the force who takes law into his hand will face the music.


Reading the outlines of the riot act in a media chat in Awka, Anambra State, yesterday (September 4, 2018), the National Coordinator of the IGP’s X-Squad, Mr Amechi Elumelu said that under the new mandate, the X-Squad is mandated to handle only armed robbery and kidnappings cases, and should not be involved in civil matters, demand for money to bail suspects.

Elumelu pointed out that the new rule of engagement which overhauls the operations of the reformed SARS requires both serving and prospective officers of this special police unit to undergo medical examination test to determine a member’s health status, physical fitness, psychological makeup, mental state and alertness, stressing that a Counseling Department is now in place to access the psyche of officers and performance indices

According to him, the Office of the IGP will ensure that all the operatives of the X-Squad are trained and retrained regularly to equip them with modern working knowledge and skills to perform optimally  in accordance with international best standard and rules of engagement.

The National Coordinator also noted that all the officers of the new team are barred from searching handsets and laptops of innocent citizens, unless the searches are directly linked to a case or directed by IGP or his delegate or done with the knowledge of federal SARS, even as he hinted that the stop-and-search option is still in operation.

Elumelu,a Deputy Comissioner of Police further disclosed that the performance agenda forbids detention of a suspect beyond 24 hours, unless a court order stipulates otherwise, stressing that the newly introduced Custody Management System will help in documentation and access to information on criminal cases and suspects, as long as such information is supervised and scrutinized by the Head of SARS, in liaison with the Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal SARS to avoid incidences of trumped-up, false information and malicious allegations against anybody.

He revealed that contact details including email and phone numbers of federal and state units are available and accessible to the public, adding that an alert application has also  been created in all SARS units to enable members of the public to lodge complaints against the over-bearing influence or excesses of any of the officers.

Elumelu said that the Federal SARS Detention facilities across the states are available and working, indicating that the mandate enjoined SARS operatives not to torture any member of the public including suspects.

While being economical with the welfare package of the officers which according to him are being re-branded to boost the morale of the officers, Elumelu stated that the IGP has commissioned a special committee to ensure production of a  brand new uniforms, for members of the new Federal SARS,, adding the uniform provides for name tag, Force number with a crest to identify an officer and define the unit he comes from..

He praised the efforts of the operatives for their doggedness in the face of enormous challenges facing them in the course of carrying out the traditional role of protecting lives and property of members of the public.

He urged the anti-cult groups to be discreet in their performance and in dealing with members of the public in order to enjoy their confidence, saying that any infringement by any anti-cult member should be reported to the Commissioner of Police by mem,bers of the public..
Elumelu said that the new reforms aimed at giving a human face to the reformed SARS is as a result of Presidential directive based on public outcry against excesses and high-handedness of SARS operatives who work as a unit of the Nigeria Police Force across the nation.

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IGP reads riot act for reformed SARS unit in Anambra IGP reads riot act for reformed SARS unit in Anambra Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Sunday, September 09, 2018 Rating: 5

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