The Inspector General of Police, (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has adjusted the operation of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, (FSARS), Special Tactical Squad(STS) Intelligence Response Team, IRT, Anti-Cultism Squad, ACS and other tactical squads operating at the federal, zonal and command levels.
They were all banned from carrying out routine patrols and other low risk duties, which includes stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks and traffic checks with immediate effect.
“In addition, no personnel of the force is authorised to embark on patrols or tactical assignment in mufti. They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear”, the IGP said in a statement.
The IGP issued the directive following findings that a few personnel of the tactical squad hide under the guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to Standard Operational Procedures, Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement.
The IGP warned the tactical squads against the invasion of the privacy of individuals, particularly through indiscriminate and unathorised search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices.
“They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arise”, the IGP said, adding that the FSARS and the police tactical squads remain critical component of the force in combating prevailing and emergent violent crimes in the country.
He condemned unprofessionalism and high handedness by some personnel of the squads and consequently ordered the X-Squad and the monitoring unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of the tactical squads and other police officers on the road.
“They are to ensure prompt arrest, investigation and prosecution of all erring officers who violate these directive and other extant regulations of the force”, the IGP said.
He warned that hence forth, Commissioners of Police in charge of FSARS, state commands and the FCT and zonal Assistant Inspector General of Police will be held liable for any misconduct within their area.
“The IGP reaffirms his commitment to bequeathing to Nigerians a reformed police force that is accountable, responsible and ever ready to defend and uphold the rights of the citizens while discharging its duties of keeping the people safe and secure”, Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba said in a statement.