The Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman has revived a notorious unit of the Nigeria Police Force, which was disbanded last year after #EndSARS protests, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
SARS was notorious for brutality, extrajudicial killings, and human rights abuses.
In a statement obtained by SaharaReporters, the IGP was said to have released new terms and conditions on the operation of SARS officials.
The Police Force also made phone numbers available for citizens to report harassment.
According to Baba Usman, SARS has been reformed and the new rules of engagement are stated below:
“No SARS personnel is allowed to interface in any civil matter.
“They are not allowed to interfere in cybercrime (yahoo yahoo).
“No SARS personnel is allowed to conduct a stop and search exercise unless there is a distress call from victims or members of the public.
“They are not allowed to be involved in commercial matters, debt recovery, (landlord vs tenant issues).
“They are not allowed to interfere in any social/relationship cases (marital matters, boyfriend/girlfriend relationship).
“They are strictly for armed robbery and kidnapping cases!”
Also, citizens are encouraged to report cases of harassment by any of its officials to the following office: DIG, Department of Operations:
08037025670, IGP X-SQUAD 0902 690 0729, 08078662130, 08174041000 – CALLS.
0903 227 8905 – SMS.
0903 562 1377 – WhatsApp
Last October, there were massive protests in some states tagged #EndSARS, largely organised by youths, to call for an end to police brutality.
They also demanded that SARS, a police unit, notorious for human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and other atrocities should be disbanded.
But during the protests against police brutality, the Nigeria police unleashed more terror on peaceful protesters in many parts of the country, including at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, the epicentre of the struggle.
The repressive regime of Muhammadu Buhari was forced to disband SARS.
It thereafter introduced the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, which many Nigerians described as not different from the disbanded SARS.
Meanwhile, the police inspector General, Baba Usman once said the disbandment of SARS had created a vacuum in policing the country.
He added that the morale of police officers in the country had been low since the #EndSARS protests in October 2020.