… As SARS escapes lynching in a mafia revenge attack on Delta
… Keyamo discredits the murder of young people reported by SARS in Ughelli
… IGP bans FSARS and other police tactical squads from routine patrols
… Warns against illegal searches of citizens’ mobile phones and laptops
… While the police arrest 2 FSARS agents, a civilian accomplice in Lagos
… Omo-Agege condemns the atrocities of SARS
… Call for a calm and thorough investigation
By Kingsley Omonobi, Henry Umoru and Perez Brisibe
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, yesterday warned the Commissioner in charge of the Federal Special Anti-Theft Squad, FSARS, the commissioners of the state police and the Zonal Inspectors General of Police that they will be held responsible for the misconduct of the SARS operations in their areas of responsibility. .
This came as agents from the Special Anti-Theft Squad, SARS, narrowly escaped death on Saturday, following an action by the mob of some angry youths who doused him with fuel and tried to set him on fire.
IGP bans FSARS from patrols
Police Inspector General, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has banned personnel from the Federal Special Anti-Theft Squad, FSARS, and other force tactical squads, including Special Tactical Squad, STS, Intelligence Response Team, IRT, Anti-Theft Squad Cultismo and other tactical squads operating at the federal, zonal and command levels do not conduct routine patrols.
Federal SARS and special squads are also prohibited from conducting routine patrols and other low-risk conventional duties, including stop and search duties, checkpoints, barricade erection, traffic controls, etc. effective immediately.
A DCP Frank Mba statement said yesterday: “Furthermore, no force personnel are authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.
“The IGP directives are against the backdrop of the force leadership’s conclusions that a few tactical squad personnel hide under this guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure, SOP , code of conduct and rules of engagement establishing the squads.
“Specifically, the IGP has warned tactical squads against the invasion of citizens’ privacy, particularly through the indiscriminate and unauthorized search for mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices.
“They must focus and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.
“The IGP notes that the FSARS and other police tactical squads remain a critical component of the force to confront the prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country.
“However, it condemns any act of lack of professionalism, abuse of human rights and arrogance on the part of some members of the staff of the brigades. Therefore, it has ordered the X-Squad and the monitoring unit to embark on immediate and massive national monitoring of the activities of tactical squads and other police officers on the road.
“They must guarantee the immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution of all errant police officers who violate these directives and other current regulations of the force.
“The IGP has also warned that, from now on, the Police Commissioner in charge of FSARS, the Police Commissioners in charge of the state commands and the FCT, as well as their Zone Police Sub-Inspectors General Supervisors will be responsible for any misconduct within your area of responsibility, AOR.
“Therefore, he charged them with ensuring the effective supervision and mentoring of the personnel of the tactical squads under their jurisdiction.
Captured FSARS Operators
Meanwhile, two FSARS officers and their civilian accomplice operating in Lagos State, namely Inspector Sale James, Inspector Monday Uchiola and Okechukwu Ogbonna, have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for acts professional misconduct, including extortion and intimidation of innocent citizens. .
“The men’s operating vehicle has also been seized, while disciplinary proceedings against the offenders have already started.
“The IGP reaffirms its commitment to bequeathing to Nigerians a reformed police force that is accountable, accountable and always ready to defend and defend the rights of citizens while fulfilling its duties to keep people safe and secure.
“He urges citizens not to allow the misconduct of some members of the force personnel to negatively affect their faith, trust and confidence in the police.”
The narrow escape of the SARS operation
The SARS operation of the Special Anti-Theft Squad, SARS, in Ughelli and surroundings of Delta state, narrowly escaped death on Saturday night, after a mob action by some angry youths who doused him with fuel and tried to arrest him fire.
The reported killing of an Ughelli resident sparked another campaign on social media, with calls for a SARS ban.
The incident, according to eyewitnesses, is a reaction to the alleged death of the driver of a white Lexus jeep with the license plate ABC 484 DK, identified as Joshua Ambrose, who according to police sources tried to commit suicide while trying to flee from a moving vehicle. after he was arrested by some operatives from Operation Safe Delta, OSD, on Saturday in front of a popular hotel along the East-West axis of Ughelli.
However, the Minister of State for Labor and Employment, Festus Keyamo, yesterday denied the viral reports about the murder of the 22-year-old by agents of the Special Anti-Theft Squad, SARS, in Ughelli, saying that the victim was not dead. but alive, and was receiving treatment in the hospital.
This development came on a weekend in which Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, also banned personnel from the Federal Special Anti-Theft Squad, FSARS, and other police force tactical squads, including Special Tactical Squad, STS, Intelligence . Response Team, IRT, Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the federal, zonal and command levels conducting routine patrols.
The findings revealed that Joshua, who is currently receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital, was arrested in the company of another occupant in the vehicle, identified as Ovie Edafe and was being taken to the police station when Joshua jumped out of the moving vehicle and hit. his head on the pavement.
An eyewitness at the scene of the incident revealed that “efforts to rescue Joshua were made impossible by a mob that came out in large numbers in an attempt to attack the team, so they withdrew from the scene of the incident.”
The incident was said to have sparked protests and tension in Ughelli, which escalated later in the evening, prompting the attack by the off-duty SARS operative that was beaten by some angry youths on the axis of Ughelli’s central garage in retaliation for the previous incident.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the mob had doused the operative with fuel in an attempt to set him on fire, but with the intervention of some good Samaritans who rescued him from the mob.
Although efforts to speak with state police public relations officer Onome Onowakpoyeya were unsuccessful, a security source from the Ughelli Police Area Command said the state Police Commissioner. Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, who was visibly angered by the unprofessional conduct of the operatives of some of the special units in the state, had read the riot act to the heads of the respective police units in the state.
The source said: “The PC in the statement that was sent to all OPDs and heads of unit in the state, warned that it had been inundated with a series of complaints, ranging from telephone control, extortion and attacks against respectful citizens of the orchestrated by law enforcement personnel SARS, Safe-Delta and SACU and officers in charge were warned to reverse the trend or face severe penalties.
“The patrol teams have also warned DPOs in the state not to use their station cells for such acts, otherwise they too will be at fault.”
Clarifying the situation yesterday, the Minister of State for Labor and Employment, Festus Keyamo, denied the viral reports about Joshua Ambrose by operatives of the Special Anti-Theft Squad, SARS.
In response to the incident on his Twitter account @fkeyamo, the minister who is from the state said: “I just spoke to the Police Commissioner, Delta State and the Area Commander in Ughelli where the unfortunate incident involving a young man occurred. and the Police that took place yesterday (Saturday).
“I also spoke with Ochuko, the victim’s brother. All said the victim is alive and receiving treatment.
“Although I fully condemn the extrajudicial executions by SARS and other police forces against defenseless citizens and I ask for comprehensive reforms and a review of the system, some facts in this case are the following; The team involved in this case is called Operation Delta Safe and not SARS.
“The victim was not shot as confirmed by his brother, but fell from the police vehicle when he was transferred to the police station after an arrest. The brother said they pushed him; police said he jumped.
“This is a photo of the victim in the hospital this morning, showing the injuries from the fall. Police stopped to pick him up after the fall, but a mob had already gathered and the police fled and left the victim.
“A Good Samaritan picked him up and took him to the hospital. Finally, I wish to appeal to the youth of Ughelli not to resort to violence and / or the destruction of life and property. I am aware of this matter and although the victim She is alive, I will urge the authorities to investigate the conduct of the police in this matter.
Recall that the police authorities at the beginning of last year, modified the operating standard, SOP, of SARS to curb its excesses. For example, the unit initially controlled centrally from the Force’s headquarters in Abuja, but the current IGP, Adamu Mohammed, gave state police commissioners police oversight rights over their actions in their respective states.
This was done to allow for closer supervision, against central supervision of the officers in charge of the anti-theft units only.
In addition, they were given branded black uniforms with numerical labels to make it easier for people to identify them and report any violations, identify the unit of any operations that have made mistakes.
In reaction to the Ughelli incident yesterday, the Vice President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, condemned him in very strong terms.
Omo Agege reacts
Omo-Agege, who asked security personnel to always uphold the rules of engagement, pleaded with the youth of Ughelli, his constituency, to exercise maximum restraint while the investigation is ongoing.
In a statement issued yesterday by her Special Advisor, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, the Vice President of the Senate expressed her concern about the incessant cases of extrajudicial executions, harassment, illegal detentions and extortion of defenseless citizens by some officials attached to SARS in different parts. from Nigeria.
Omo-Agege specifically cited the alleged shooting of a man by SARS agents in his constituency in Ughelli, Delta State, for the alleged refusal of the victim to allow agents to search his phone, as well as another shooting of a young man in the city by men. of ‘Operation Delta Safe’ for the alleged refusal of the victim to allow the operatives to register his phone to support his argument about the need for comprehensive reforms and review of security units in the country.
Omo-Agege, who called on law enforcement authorities to fish out the culprits for prosecution, emphasizing that this will serve as a deterrent to others, said: “Those who are authorized to bear arms and maintain law and order in the country must understand that this must be exercised responsibly, especially when human life is sanctimonious ”.
“I hope that those who pull the trigger quickly will adopt strategies that foster mutual understanding between themselves and those they are tasked with protecting, in their quest to save the lives of Nigerians. It would be a depressing twist of fate for them to be among those contributing to the list of the dead in this globally challenging period. “