In continuation of the reorganization of the Special Anti-robbery squad ordered by the federal government of excesses, Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has directed the massive overhaul of the unit nationwide.
Represented by DIG Habila Joshak, Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge operations department at a meeting with stakeholders, the IG also directed that Federal SARS operatives are to henceforth undergo rigorous medical/psychological screening and human rights protection orientation programmes and processes.
DIG Habila along with the Commissioner of Police Federal SARS addressed critical Stakeholders, the media and the public on the progress being made in the overhaul of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, now known as FSARS in the new arrangement on Friday.
The critical Stakeholders in attendance were; Mr. Segun Awosanya (Segalink), Convener of EndSARS and head of Universal Institutional Reform Advocacy Foundation and Dr. Femi Amosun.
Others were Professor Olu Ogunsakin represented by Mr. Ayo Omotade, Mr. Asekome Oteiku, Director, Legal/Admin International Human Rights Protection, Ayo Akani and team from Lincoln Carter Foundation and other key stakeholders and senior Police Officers.
Highlights of the event are as follows; DIG Operations DIG Joshak Habila had key officials of the Police Force in attendance including the Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, CP Haliru Gwandu and DCP Amaechi Elumelu in charge of the IGP’s X-Squad and others senior Officers.
He emphasized that the overhaul of SARS was beyond rhetoric and real reform was taking place.
He noted among other things that Federal SARS operatives had been ordered not to attend to civil or commercial matters again but strictly to armed robbery and kidnapping cases only.
CP FSARS, CP Haliru Gwandu in his remarks informed the gathering of the creation of a Human Rights Desk in every states of the Federation to take and address cases of infractions against members of the public by FSARS personnel anywhere in the country in collaboration with other Human Rights organizations.
He went further to note that the Police have involved the services of psychologists and counselors in the ongoing screening of FSARS operatives.
DCP Amaechi Elumelu who heads the IGP’s X-Squad, a unit with the mandate of enforcing discipline in the Nigeria Police Force stated that the screening and mobilization of FSARS operatives would not be business as usual again.
He pointed out that anyone who would become an operative would go through rigorous orientation, human rights training and other screening processes that will includes the evaluation of their previous records on Human Rights.
The DCP further announced the setting up of the Custody Records Management System which will be unveiled by the Inspector General of Police very soon.
He explained that this system would contain the records of arrests, detentions and welfare details of suspects, noting that this system would discourage arbitrary arrest of people, and ensure that suspects are charged to court within 24 hours according to the law.
In his address at the event, Mr. Segun Awosanya, popularly known as @Segalink on Twitter who spearheaded the #ENDSARS Campaign appreciated the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria for the swift action in ordering the overhaul of SARS, noting that the government was a listening one.
He called for trust between citizens and the police noting that “if it is well with the Police, it is well with the nation.”
The social media activist said that he would be giving all it takes to support the Police Force and called off the #ENDSARS and the reformation of SARS in the new FSARS arrangement.
The meeting ended successfully and a further dialogue with the critical Stakeholders, the Media and the Police is to come up very soon.