Adamu made the announcement on Sunday, days after a public outcry and series of protests calling for a scrapping of the unit over allegations of brutality and human rights violations.
“The Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police, otherwise known as SARS, is hereby dissolved across all formations, the 36 state police command and the Federal Capital Territory where they currently exists,” the IGP said.
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) October 11, 2020
Also in a statement, the Force Public Relations Office, Force Headquarters, Dcp Frank Mba, noted that “the dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian
He explained 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”.
Mba, therefore, assured that that a new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps which the dissolution of SARS would cause, has been evolved and shall be announced in due course.
He also noted that the current developments and the outcry by sections of Nigerian have remained under constant monitoring and due assessment by the government.
According to him, the government acknowledges the inalienable rights of citizens to freedom of association and expression.
‘SARS ended’, now what?
With the new development, all officers and men currently serving in the unit are now expected to be redeployed with immediate effect.
New policing arrangements to address the offenses of armed robbery and other violent crimes that fall within the mandate of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad will also be presented in due course, according to the Police boss.
He further noted that a citizens’ and strategic stakeholders’ forum will be formed to regularly interface with the leadership of the police at all levels and advice on police activities.
Beyond that, Adamu said an investigation team to deal with the reports of crimes committed against citizens, will be constituted and will include civil society organisations for transparency as culprits will be punished.
The unit was founded in 1992 to combat cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, and other violent crimes. But SARS, instead, over time, has gained notoriety for its reckless intimidation of innocent civilians through puerile profiling and wanton abuse of power.
Calls for the unit’s disbandment date as far back as 2017 and while the Federal Government and police chiefs have made several pledges to implement reforms, reports of SARS’ brutal activities against civilians have not abated.
The current wave of protest can be traced to October 3, after another report of extra-judicial killing in Delta State (the police have denied any killing took place).
It sparked fresh concerns and anger. Fuelled by this, and the outpouring of tales of traumatic experiences at the hands of officials of the unit, many Nigerians have held protests in many states, including Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna, Osun, Edo, and Imo.
Source channels news