The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has barred operatives of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, from conducting stop and search on roads except with the permission of Commissioner of SARS or Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of Police in charge of operations in the commands.
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The development, which was disclosed by Idris on Friday in Abuja at a lecture he gave to field Commanders of SARS from various parts of the country, was aimed at reforming SARS.
Listing other reforms, the IGP said henceforth SARS personnel must not intervene in civil matters, including land disputes, personal disputes, debt collection among others.
He also warned them against being bodyguards to prominent Nigerians.
Besides, the police chief said it was now mandatory for operatives of the anti-robbery to wear their official uniform clearly with their names written on.
The police boss added that the officers would be subjected to psychological and mental health tests, adding that under him the police authority was committed to respecting human dignity.
According to him, “The Nigeria Police Force under my leadership, shall operate strictly guided by the human rights principles as enshrined under the United Nations Charter on human rights and other extant laws.
“In demonstration of good faith to the aspiration of the Nigerian populace, I have given mandate to the IGP’s Monitoring Units and ‘X’ Squad and other oversight units of the Force to monitor the activities of the SARS operatives, while in the same vein, citizens are encouraged to avail the police ways to improve SARS operations across the nation.”