Mohammed Adamu, the acting Inspector general of police, has decentralized the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which was earlier centralized by his predecessor, Ibrahim Idris.
The former Inspector General had placed the unit under the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), as part of the reforms of the squad.
Before now, SARS operations were centralised at the Force Headquarters. Their operations were recently re-organised, following national outcry over alleged unethical conduct by personnel of the unit.
However, Adamu, who met with Command Commissioners of Police and other senior officers in Abuja on Monday, explained that the squad will henceforth operate under the state Commissioners of Police. He said the Force headquarters unit would be under the DIG, Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
The acting IGP also said that a comprehensive reform in terms of ethics, mode of operation, orientation, function delineation command and control and accountability mechanism of SARS will be undertaken.
Adamu also disbanded all “quasi-investigation and operations outfits”, including the Special Investigation Panel, Special Tactical Squad, IG Monitoring and Intelligence Team, among others.
He further announced the setting-up of a Special Election Investigation Team, tasked with the exclusive function of investigating and prosecuting electoral offenders.
He further said that with the new arrangement, Police Commissioners in the 36 states and the FCT, would assume full command and control of all SARS in their commands.
Adamu also said henceforth, the SARS unit in the Force headquarters would be under the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department.
According to him, the DIG Force Criminal Intelligence Investigation Department (FCIID) and Police Commissioners would be held responsible for any professional misconduct resulting from the operations of the units in their commands.
He also directed police commissioners to evaluate the units in their commands and submit a report to his office within two weeks.
The Police boss also announced the disbandment of the Special Investigation Panel, Special Tactical Squad and other quasi-investigation and operation units of the Force.
He said that the DIG FCIID would take over and review all cases being currently handled by the units.
Adamu promised that a thorough and comprehensive re-organisation of the Police Mobile Force, Counter-terrorism unit and Special Protection Unit would also be undertaken.
“This re-positioning process will eventually cascade down to the zonal and state command levels,” he said.
The IG said that the essence of the restructuring was to restore order and stop the current fall in the standards of policing in the country.
Adamu also said the re-organization would discourage police operations competing for space to operate in an unprofessional manner.