Police place ban and restrictions on routine SARS operations and duties with rules of enforcement thrown in for effect

The Nigeria Police have come down hard on operations of SARS, banning the Squad from routine operations and limiting their functions.

In a 10-point order, IGP Mohammed Adamu clarified areas of operation for the squad, banned routine functions and demanded a dress code.

SARS is short for Special Anti Robbery Squad, a police crime-fighting unit that battles violent crimes like robbery and kidnapping.

There is public outcry over operational excesses of the squad, ranging from alleged excessive use of force to extrajudicial killings.

The Abuja Command is yet to unravel the case of Enugu-born Ifeoma Abugu, arrested in place of her fiancee by SARS and allegedly tortured to death.

Police Inspector-General has issued a 10-point directive to rein in the operational excesses of officers of SARS, STS, and IRT.

Here are five key takeaways from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) new directives.

Limited areas of operations

The officers are to henceforth concentrate and respond only to cases of violent crimes such as kidnapping and armed robbery.

Police ban on routine SARS duties

Officers are also barred from low-risk duties such as “stop and search,” mounting checkpoints and roadblocks, and traffic checks.

They will no longer conduct “unauthorized” indiscriminate search of smartphones, laptops or other smart devices.

Approved dress Code

SARS operatives will no longer go on patrol and tactical operations while on mufti.

They must also appear in police uniform or other approved gear while on official duties

The directive is enforceable

Police X-Squad and Monitoring Unit Officers will track and arrest erring personnel on the road

Commissioners in charge of SARS, State Commands and Zonal AIGs are liable for noncompliance with the directive.

Public Appeal

The IGP has appealed to citizens not to allow the misconduct of a few personnel of the Force to negatively impact on their confidence and trust in the police