Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the decentralisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). With the directive, state commissioners of police are now to assume full command and control on all SARS departments in their various commands.
The IGP has also announced the disbandment of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP), the Special Tactical Squad (STS) and other investigation teams. He gave the order during his maiden meeting with commissioners of police and superior officers at Police Headquarters, Abuja.
Adamu said: “A comprehensive reform both in terms of ethics, mode of operation, nomenclature and orientation, function delineation, command and control, weaponry, and accountability mechanism will be undertaken in SARS. This is with a view to giving full, clear, measurable and accountable intervention to the presidential directives on reform and re-orientation of the unit as recently handed down to the force leadership.
“A reorganisation proposal to this effect is being currently studied preparatory to its being implemented.”
The IGP also announced the setting up of the Special Election Investigation Team (SEIT) to ensure electoral offenders are brought to justice. He said the team would work with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) towards prompt processing of case files of offenders for prosecution.
“Indeed, in order to ensure that such offenders are conclusively brought to justice, the DIG, FCIID, has been directed to set up SEIT that will be tasked with the exclusive functions of taking in custody and undertake detailed investigation of all arrested electoral offenders across the country,” he said.
The IGP, while reiterating the determination of the police to deal decisively with anyone who tried to cause trouble during and after the general election, said the meeting was aimed at evaluating police performance in previous electoral engagements with a view to drawing lessons, ascertaining performance gaps and identifying critical operational challenges that can be addressed in the process of planning for the upcoming general election.
He said: “The second purpose of this conference is to undertake national security threat analysis and level of preparation for the elections at the state command levels, discuss limitations and evaluate strategies towards managing the identified threats.
“The third and, perhaps, most important is to enable professional interaction between the police, INEC leadership, and strategic partners across the country with a view to perfecting interventions that will aid in the attainment of our election security mandate as the lead agency in the election security management process.
“The meeting will also give insight into some of my policy direction in the drive towards repositioning the Nigeria Police Force.”