After a week of nationwide #ENDSARS protests, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu announced today that the police unit has been dissolved immediately.
He made a radio and tv broadcast and his Public Relations team followed up with details of the announcement, but there are many unanswered questions.
Many segments of the society are still digesting the contents of the statement, especially the reference to the position that “all officers and men of the now defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad are being redeployed with immediate effect”, because it is this same group of officers that were responsible for the killing and robbing of innocent citizens, especially the youths, which prompted the mass protests. Some observers think that most of these SARS operatives, having ‘tasted blood’, so to speak, will find it difficult to operate in a sane and sensible police formation, and they should therefore be shown the way out, in addition to facing the law for the crimes they have committed.
The Police High Command also need to retrieve the arms and ammunition in the possession of these SARS operatives because this is what they will use to convert themselves to armed robbers or rent to others for the same purpose if the arms are not accounted for.
There should also be a public commission of inquiry to investigate every petition against the various SARS teams and restitution made, otherwise, victims will not be able to heal and the suspicion of the intentions of the Police will still exist .
Below is the press release signed by the Force Public Relations Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franck Mba.
“IGP DISSOLVES THE SPECIAL ANTI-ROBBERY SQUAD (SARS)
———Emplaces other measures to protect the citizens
“In the finest spirit of democratic, citizen-centred and community policing, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M. A. Adamu, NPM, mni has today, 11th October, 2020, dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed.
“The IGP, while noting that the dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, observes that by this dissolution, all officers and men of the now defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad are being redeployed with immediate effect.
“The IGP notes that the Force is not oblivious of the ever present need to combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country which was before now the core mandate of the erstwhile Squad. He assures that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS would cause has been evolved and shall be announced in due course.
“Meanwhile, as part of measures to prevent a re-occurrence of events that gave rise to the dissolution of SARS, a Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum is being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.
“In addition, the Force is constituting an Investigation Team which shall include Civil Society Organizations and Human Rights Bodies to work with the Police in investigating alleged cases of human rights violations. The measure, the IGP believes, will enhance transparency and accountability in police services as well as providing a system of deterrence for erring police officers whose action clearly violates the rights of the citizenry.
“The IGP appreciates and commends all citizens particularly those who genuinely express their concerns for a better policing orientation in an organized, patriotic and civil manner. He reaffirms the determination of the Force to bequeath to the country a Police Force and System that is professional in service delivery and most importantly, accountable to the people”.