By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Imohimi Edgal, has said firearms would henceforth only be issued to operatives on guard duty or those responding to violent crimes.
Edgal said this was in line with directives of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to curb the issues of human rights abuses leveled against operatives attached to FSARS and other tactical units.
As part of measures embarked on towards implementing the IG’s directives, the CP clarified that no personnel of FSARS would be issued firearms except for guard duties, at base and to respond to violent crimes as they occur.
Also, in compliance with the IG’s directive, he stated that all FSARS teams on routine patrol had been withdrawn.
He said: “In order to improve on the efficiency and effectiveness of FSARS and ensure that they uphold fundamental human rights of the citizens, we have drawn up a training/capacity workshop which will kick off this week in Abuja.”
He said the training will be in collaboration with civilian partners and Non Governmental Organisations, (NGOs) aimed at emphasising the tenets of rule of law and fundamental rights of Nigerians.
He further said that no FSARS personnel will henceforth attend to any violent crimes except he was kitted in his approved jacket to guide members of the public.
He said: “Only FSARS operatives have the right to wear a jacket with the inscription ‘FSARS’. All other state Special Anti Robbery Squads, (SARS) which are commanded by state commissioners of police are to wear the inscription SARS without F.”
CP Edgal therefore called on state commissioners of police and commanders of tactical units to join hands to ensure the total success of all the directives and reforms regarding FSARS and SARS operations by the IG.
He reassured members of the public that the era of ‘slap on the wrist or cover up’ of any policeman caught involving himself in any matter that will tarnish the image of the force was over.
“Henceforth, maximum disciplinary penalty awaits such policemen,” he vowed.