Acting President, Osinbajo Orders Immediate Overhaul of SARS

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Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to immediately overhaul the management and activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The order follows persistent complaints and critical reports about the activities SARS. The complaints border on allegations of human rights violations.

Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, announced the directive in a statement signed on Tuesday.

According to the statement, Osinbajo instructed the IGP to ensure that any unit that emerges from the overhaul is intelligence-driven, restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery, kidnapping, apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences, and nothing more.

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 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,” he added.

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Also, Osinbajo ordered the National Human Rights Commission to set up a Special Panel that will conduct an investigation into the alleged unlawful activities of SARS.

He said the panel would afford members of the public the opportunity to present their grievances and get justice.

Read the full statement below:

ACTING PRESIDENT ORDERS IMMEDIATE OVERHAUL OF THE SPECIAL ANTI-ROBBERY SQUAD (SARS) OF THE NIGERIA POLICE

Directs investigation on alleged violations of the squad

Following persistent complaints and reports on the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that border on allegations of human rights violations, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to, with immediate effect, overhaul the management and activities of SARS and ensure that any Unit that will emerge from the process, will 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.

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The Acting President has 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.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President
on Media & Publicity
Office of the Acting President
14 August 2018