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Acting President Orders Immediate Overhaul of notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS

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….Directs investigation on alleged violations of the squad

By Opeoluwa Abegunde

In apparent bid to breathe life into the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to, with immediate effect, overhaul the management and activities of the police squad.

Osinbajo also asked the IGP to ensure that any Unit that emerge from the process, must be intelligence-driven and restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery and kidnapping, and apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences, and nothing more.

The SARS has been rocked with persistent complaints and reports on the activities of its officers that bordered on allegations of human rights violations.

The Acting President also directed the IGP to ensure that all operatives in the emerging Unit conduct their operations in strict adherence to the rule of law and with due regard to International Human Rights Law and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of suspects.

The operatives should also bear proper identification anytime they are on duty.

In the meantime, the Acting President has directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up a Special Panel that will conduct an investigation of the alleged unlawful activities of SARS in order to afford members of the general public the opportunity to present their grievances with a view to ensuring redress.

Last month in Abeokuta, Ogun State, officers of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) had too much to chew following an assault on a soldier thought to be a  Yahoo boy. The SARS officers attacked the Soldier causing panic in the area.

Also last month, Lagos state Police Command  dismissed three SARS officers who attacked a man falsely accused of being an internet fraudster, at Chinese town, Ojota Lagos.SARS officers in Jos, shot and killed an unarmed man after an argument two months ago.

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