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IGP bans FSARS from stop-and-search patrol

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– Atiku, Saraki, others knock SARS, demand urgent reform

Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force has come under heavy attack again as many Nigerians including former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki have called for an immediate reform of the unit or scrap it.

This followed a reported shooting of a young man in Ughelli, Delta state, whose video went viral on Saturday. The victim suspected to be a Yahoo boy was said to have been left on the road to die after his vehicle was taken away.

This came as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force from routine patrols nationwide.

Celebrities such as Femi Kuti and Kate Henshaw as well as ordinary Nigerians twitting under #EndSARS also condemned other extrajudicial killings by the group.

Atiku said SARS had lost focus and continued to terrorise the people they were meant to protect.

In a series of tweets, the ex-VP said, “The Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the @PoliceNG was set up to confront violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and other related crimes.

“However, the unit has today morphed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses who strive every day for a better life.

“Reports of intimidation, harassment and outright extortion by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad have continued unabated.

“I strongly condemn their cruel actions against our people, and I urge the government to rise to the occasion and nip this monstrosity in the bud with the seriousness it deserves.

“It is expedient that the activities of SARS are reviewed to ensure that the rogue elements are excised from the unit and sanity returned to its operations.”

Also commenting on the issue, Saraki tweeted, “The reports of the continued harassment, illegal arrest, detention and high handedness by rogue cells of the SARS Unit of @PoliceNG against innocent Nigerians – most of them young people – in spite of efforts to reform the Police & raise standards of policing, are disheartening.

“A situation where the officers of @PoliceNG become a threat to the lives and property of the very citizens they swore to protect is condemnable and unacceptable.

“I call on the Federal Government to immediately put a stop to these reprehensible activities and restructure the unit to better perform its lawful duties of safe guarding the lives and property of the Nigerian people.

A popular musician, Femi Kuti, said, “How many more innocent people must SARS/the police kill before urgent steps are taken to completely overhaul and reform the entire police force? Obviously government and their families are safe must be why they are nonchalant and indifferent.”

Renowned actress Kate Henshaw, stated, “Until SARS kills one of their own…..then and only then will they care…”

Meanwhile, in a statement announcing the IGP ban on patrol by (F)SARS and other related groups, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said on Sunday that no personnel of the Force was authorised to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti.

He stated, “They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear. The IGP’s directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under this guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.

“Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized 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 arises.

“The IGP notes that the FSARS and other Police Tactical Squads remain a critical component of the Force in confronting prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country.

“He however condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some personnel of the Squads.

“He has therefore ordered the X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of Tactical Squads and other police officers.”

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Kanu not in court, case adjourned till Oct 21

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will remain in detention till October 21, 2021.
He was due to be in court on Monday but the Federal Government did not arraign him.
Kanu, who was reportedly arrested in Kenya last month, has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, over the failure of the Federal Government to arraign him.

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Insecurity made FG to retain DIGs, AIGs, says minister

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The Federal Government on Monday explained why it retained some Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police after the appointment of Usman Baba Alkali as Inspector-General of Police.
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, said the high level of insecurity made the government to retain the senior police officers.
He stated this during the decoration of 24 newly promoted Commissioners of Police to AIGs.
No senior police officer with the rank of AIG or DIG went on compulsory leave when Baba was appointed IGP.
Dingyadi stressed that was the first time of such development in recent history of the Nigerian Police Force.
He said, “The government deliberately took this position to have many hands in the force. With this action, the Police Force has retained experienced professionals that would contribute towards sustaining the relative peace of the country.”
The minister added that the criteria for the appointment of the new AIGs were purely on merit, professional conduct, and individual performance, urging the newly appointed AIGs to redouble their efforts to curb insecurity.
He reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Salaries and Wages Commission to come out with new salary structure.
He said, “To whom much is given, much is expected. Officers should re-double their effort in the fight against insecurity which had bedeviled the country today. A lot is expected of you in contributing your quota towards the sustainability of peace and unity in the country.”

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Four more Kaduna school students escape from bandits captivity

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Three students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, have escaped from their captors.
They escaped from the camp on Monday where they were kept since July 19, 2021.
An aunt to one of the students, who craved anonymity confirmed this on Monday.
According to her, the teenagers had spent five days roaming inside the forest before they finally met another herder who directed them out of the forest.
It was also gathered that one of the escaped students who could recall his father’s phone number borrowed a phone to call home before his father went to pick them up.
“The children were found around Kasuwar Magani on Sunday evening hours after 28 students of the school were released by the bandits. It was the school management that called my in-law to inform us,” she said.
Two other students had escaped from the camps before they were recovered by the police.

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