Commissioner of Police, Police Mobile Force (PMF), Mr Mohammed Akeera, has said that over 1,517 police officers reported for training for the new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Squad at the Police Mobile Force College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State and Police Mobile Force College, Ende Hills, Eggon Local Government, Nasarawa State:
“Members of the SWAT Squad were trained for three weeks between October 19 and November 7, 2020. During the exercise, 345 officers were disqualified on medical grounds and 29 were disqualified based on indiscipline. They were lectured by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
“They received lecture on International Standard and Rules of Policing, which includes code of conduct for law enforcement, arrest, search and detention modalities (international standard) best practices, basic principles of the use of force and firearms and international human rights law and ICRC.
“The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu announced the formation of SWAT Squad to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). This announcement was made after waves of protests were observed across the nation and internationally-via social media channels over rising cases of police brutality particularly attributed to SARS.
“IGP Adamu said all prospective members of the new SWAT would undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness, and eligibility for the new assignment. In preparation for the onboarding of officers for the new tactical unit, the Police Counseling and Support Unit of the Force Medical Services collaborated with a team of experts to develop an Operational Behaviour Assessment Tool (OBAT).
“The tool is aimed at helping the Nigeria Police to screen, identify and engage officers who will serve the nation’s citizens with more fairness, equity and accountability as well as safeguard the fundamental human rights and dignity of all persons they encounter in line of duty.
“SWAT Squad members were subjected to comprehensive medical evaluation and psychological assessment and urine toxicology for drug abuse. DCP Medical Force, Mr. Oluwunmi Ogunsanwo, with psychologists from Hart-Land Alliance, NGO’s and psychologists from Association of Clinical Psychology ensured that those who were not fit were disqualified.
“The officers are fit for the job and any officer involved in drug abuse was disqualified. Those with abnormal behaviour and those who were medically unfit were disqualified.”