The inspector-general of police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has reiterated that the mandate of the Nigerian Police is to protect citizens, and has vowed to sack or prosecute any erring officer.
This the IGP stated in a circular going around and dated 5th October, 2020.
Recall that On Sunday, the IGP banned operatives, especially the federal special anti-robbery squad (FSARS), the special tactical squad (STS) and intelligence response team (IRT) from routine patroling, indiscriminate searching of suspects phones, laptops or other devices.
His directive was necessitated by the public outrage, over the incessant and indiscriminate killings of young Nigerians
The IGP in the circular which was addressed to all heads in the Command asked the heads of commands and units to compile all recent cases of abuse of power and violation of rights of citizens by FSARS, SARS, IRT, STS, and other police teams, and send to his office on Friday.
The statement reads
“In utter disregard [for] consistent warnings, previous orders, their professional training, international protocol, constitutional dictates, force policies and ethical standards, these special operatives have continued to drag the Force into acts that pitch us against the citizens that we were engaged, paid and statutorily obligated to serve and protect,” the IGP said.
“In order to address these resonating unprofessional conducts, it is directed as follows: Any police personnel that, henceforth, abuses his or her powers in a manner that degrades, endangers or threatens the life and other fundamental rights of the citizens shall be promptly arrested, processed through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service. In addition, such personnel could be charged to court in consonance with their level of criminal liability in the instance.
“The indiscriminate, unauthorised, and degrading search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart electronic devices of citizens by the Special Units and all Police operatives of different Formations, Zones, Commands and Units is hereby banned. The only exception is if such an act is in furtherance to a specific case that has been reported and is a subject of a criminal investigation in specific Formation, Command, Police Station or Unit. In which case, due process must be followed by the investigating team.
“All recent cases of abuses of power and violation of rights of citizens by FSARS, SARS, IRT, STS and other Police Teams should be compiled by the Heads of all Police Formations, Commands and Units and forwarded to the Office of the Inspector General of Police not later than Friday, 9th October, 2020.”