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The police authorities have deployed officers of the new Special Weapons and Tactics Team in state commands, Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi, has said.

Dingyadi stated this on Friday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme monitored by The PUNCH.

He said, “They (SWAT officers) have ended their training and they have been posted to the state police commands that brought them for training. They are there with them and they are performing the functions of the SWAT.”

Newsmen had earlier reported that following the nationwide #EndSARS protests last October, the then Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad over allegations of human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings.

Adamu had announced the formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

About 1,850 members of SWAT were later trained at the Police Mobile Force Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.

The SWAT officers were subsequently deployed in police formations across the country to fight crimes particularly robberies.

The Inspector-General of Police has ordered an intensive round-the-clock security of all public spaces and critical national assets.

He directed state Commissioners of Police and their supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police to ensure adequate deployment of police personnel – both covert and overt operatives, and other operational assets in areas of security interest within their respective areas of responsibility.

A statement on Friday by the force spokesman, Frank Mba, said the officers are also to ensure confidence-boosting, proactive and high visibility patrols on the highways, motor parks, train stations, airports, worship centres, banks and other financial institutions while taking adequate measures to provide a peaceful, crime-free and enabling environment for religious, cultural and other socio-economic activities to thrive.

It stated, “In addition, the Commissioners of Police and their supervising AIGs have been directed to ensure proper supervision of the men assigned for these assignments. They must be professional and courteous to law-abiding citizens but firm and ruthless to criminals.”

Hours after the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, disband the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, F-SARS, men of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, assaulted AriseTV cameraman.

The cameraman of the media organization, identified as Francis Ogbonna was assaulted few hours after the disbandment of SARS.

A reporter of Arise TV, Ferdinand Duruoha shared a video clip showing how Francis’ head was broken by a police officer who attacked them.

The IGP announced the disbandment of the police unit during a press conference in Abuja, following reports and complaints about how the officers uses their position to commit various crimes across the country.

Duruoha narrates the ordeal saying:

“We took the IG’s message live on Twitter banning SARS, and on returning from that particular interview, we saw some youth along the road, protesting.

“While we were trying to speak to them and get their takes on the IG’s message, we were attacked by policemen who have brutally assaulted Francis and broke his camera and Arise news camera.

“This is the result of that brutalisation. I am about taking him to the hospital but then we just need to get this as a sign of evidence of what the police have done.”

Watch the video below…

The Inspector General of Police IGP Mohammed Adamu, on October 11, has announced the disbandment of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, F-SARS.

He made this announcement during a press conference held at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Adamu reveals that officers captured under the unit SARS, will be deployed to other units within the police departments and serve other purposes.

The IGP says a new anti-robbery squad that will serve the same purpose as SARS will be reveal soon.

This announcement came after citizens held several protest in different states in the country.

The police unit has been accused of brutality, extortion, and incessant murder of many young Nigerians.

Read full press release below…

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.

DCP FRANK MBA
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FORCE HEADQUARTERS
ABUJA