Sunday, April 2, 2023

Nigeria bans notorious police unit from ‘stop and search’ duties

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Nigeria‘s notorious police unit called the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has been banned from routine patrols.

The country’s Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu in a statement also banned personnel from other tactical squads from carrying out routine patrols.

Those units include the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligence Response Team, Anti-Cultism Squad, and other squads operating at the Federal, Zonal, and Command levels.

The IGP banned the units also from conducting other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks.

The hashtag #EndSARS has been trending on Twitter following reports of alleged killing of a young man by officers from the SARS unit in the city of Lagos on Saturday.

Photo: Daily Trust
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Citizens are calling for an end to police brutalities using the hashtag to share stories of their experiences.

The police statement on Sunday said “no personnel of the Force is authorised to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.”

The police units have also been banned from “invasion of privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorised search of mobiles, laptops and smart devices”.

There have been reactions on social media following the news of the SARS police unit being banned from its duties.

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