Group Canvass For SARS Reform

The Police Community Relations Committee, the Eminent Persons Forum, the Concerned Market Men And Women Association and other Civil Society Groups has called on the Nigerians to continue to support the reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad as announced by the Inspector General of Police to make it better under the Federal SARS arrangement.

Addressing a mammoth crowd today at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the Deputy National Chairrman (North), Police community Relations Committee, Sanusi Maijama’s Ajiya said that since the IGP has appointed a Commissioner of Police to head SARS, Nigerians especially those calling for the ends of SARS, should be allowed to work to make F-SARS more effective and efficient.

He further reiterated that while the group agree that some people have had sour encounter with personnel of the unit, they should cooperate and allow the investigations as directed by the IGP that the Police X-Squad should investigate all allegations of human rights violations against SARS in the past and present.

The letter of support was received by the DIG Operation, DIG Habila Joshak on behalf of the Inspector General of Police at the entrance of the Force Headquarters.

DIG Habila Joshak told the mammoth crowd that IGP Ibrahim Idris has commenced reorganisation in SARS already as Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) will now exist and operate in the State and Zonal Commands under the Commissioner of Police (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters. A Federal SARS Commander of a Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will be in charge of FSARS in State and Zonal Commands across the Country.

He further said that all Commissioners of Police have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to comply with this directive with immediate effect and warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives. The IGP X-Squad has been mandated to go round the Commands and Police Formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any erring police officer.

“A new training program to be organized by the Force in collaboration with some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Local and International NGOs, and other Human Rights Organizations on core Police Duties, Observant of Human Rights and Handling, Care and Custody of Suspects have been directed by the Inspector General of Police for all Federal SARS personnel nationwide with immediate effect, DIG Habila said.

He However called on aggrieved members of the public who have any complaint in the past or present of violation of their rights by any Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) personnel anywhere in the country are to report through the means of communication channels that has been provided by the Nigeria Police for investigation and further actions.

Below is the full text of the letter of support submitted by Deputy National Chairman (North), Police community Relations Committee, Sanusi Maijama’s Ajiya:

A LETTER OF SUPPORT TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE IGP IBRAHIM K. IDRIS NPM, mni CALLING ON ALL NIGERIANS TO SUPPORT THE REFORM OF SARS AND ALLOW THE IGP RE-ORGANIZATION OF SARS TO STAY BY THE POLICE COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMITTEE, THE EMINENT PERSONS FORUM, THE CONCERNED MARKET MEN AND WOMEN ASSOCIATION AND OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS AT A RALLY ORGANIZED AT EAGLE SQUARE ABUJA ON 11th DECEMBER, 2017.

There is no doubt, policing is a complex job the world over. This is because every action the police personnel take at any point in time attracts different interpretations by different people. SARS is a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force which was specifically created to combat Armed Robbery, Kidnappings and other violent crimes.

2. The recent campaign in the social media calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force is not in the interest of Nigerians most especially for the Armed Robbery and Kidnap victims and their families.

3. We call on all Nigerians to continue to support the reform of SARS as announced by the Inspector General of Police to make it better under the Federal SARS arrangement and a Commissioner of Police already appointed by the IGP to head SARS to be allowed to work to make F-SARS more effective and efficient. This is because, while we agree that some people have had sour encounter with personnel of the unit, we should cooperate and allow the investigations as directed by the IGP that the Police X-Squad should investigate all allegations of human rights violations against SARS in the past and present.
4. Many people and their relations have, at one time or the other, been rescued from either kidnappers or deadly armed robbers by the officers of the SARS unit and all of us must appreciate this. SARS has over the years, performed excellently well as it has assisted in arresting some notorious criminals in different parts of the country and allow Market Men and Women to continue to do their business and other activities very well nationwide.
5. Just as there is no perfect human institution or person that is why reforming SARS is the best way to go.
6. We therefore call on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni to continue his good work and reform the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and not to listen to those people calling for the scrapping of SARS. Some of them with their families we know live outside this country and if SARS is scrapped and armed robbers take over, they will not be affected. So all Nigerians are once again called upon to support reform of SARS.
Thank You and God Bless