Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), has vowed to dismiss and prosecute any officer who engages in unprofessional conduct.
On Sunday, the IGP banned operatives of the federal special anti-robbery squad (FSARS), the special tactical squad (STS) and intelligence response team (IRT) from undertaking routine patrols as well as stop and search duties.
The directive came in the wake of the outrage over alleged criminal and extra-judicial actions of FSARS officers against citizens in various parts of the country.
In a circular dated October 5 to all police formations in the country, the IGP asked the heads of commands and units to compile all recent cases of abuse of power and violation of rights of citizens by FSARS, SARS, IRT, STS, and other police teams, and send to his office on Friday.
“In utter disregard [for] consistent warnings, previous orders, their professional training, international protocol, constitutional dictates, force policies and ethical standards, these special operatives have continued to drag the Force into acts that pitch us against the citizens that we were engaged, paid and statutorily obligated to serve and protect,” the IGP said.
“In order to address these resonating unprofessional conducts, it is directed as follows: Any police personnel that, henceforth, abuses his or her powers in a manner that degrades, endangers or threatens the life and other fundamental rights of the citizens shall be promptly arrested, processed through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service. In addition, such personnel could be charged to court in consonance with their level of criminal liability in the instance.
“The indiscriminate, unauthorised, and degrading search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart electronic devices of citizens by the Special Units and all Police operatives of different Formations, Zones, Commands and Units is hereby banned. The only exception is if such an act is in furtherance to a specific case that has been reported and is a subject of a criminal investigation in specific Formation, Command, Police Station or Unit. In which case, due process must be followed by the investigating team.
“All recent cases of abuses of power and violation of rights of citizens by FSARS, SARS, IRT, STS and other Police Teams should be compiled by the Heads of all Police Formations, Commands and Units and forwarded to the Office of the Inspector General of Police not later than Friday, 9th October, 2020.”