BREAKING; OSINBAJO SET TO CLEAN UP SARS AS HE ORDERS IGP TO OVERHAUL THE SPECIAL UNIT
Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to immediately overhaul the management and activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The order follows persistent complaints and critical reports about the activities of SARS. The complaints border on allegations of human rights violations. Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, announced the directive in a statement signed on Tuesday 14th August 2018.
According to the statement, Osinbajo instructed the IGP to ensure that any unit that emerges from the overhaul is intelligence-driven, restricted to the prevention and detection of armed robbery, kidnapping, apprehension of offenders linked to the stated offences, and nothing more.
The Acting President also directed the IGP to ensure that all operatives in the emerging unit “conduct their operations in strict adherence to the rule of law and due regard to International Human Rights Law and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of suspects. “The operatives should also bear proper identification anytime they are on duty,” he added.
Also, Osinbajo ordered the National Human Rights Commission, to set up a Special Panel that will conduct an investigation into the alleged unlawful activities of SARS. He said the panel would afford members of the public the opportunity to present their grievances and so they can be addressed and the complainants get justice.
There has been a social media campaign called #endSARS since 2017, the campaign has included celebrities and society bigwigs, who have accused SARS of illegalities such as extortion, intimidation and arbitrary arrest.