The new Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has decentralized the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which was earlier centralized by his predecessor, Ibrahim Idris.
The former IG had placed the unit under the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), as part of the reforms of the squad.
But Adamu, who met with Command Commissioners of Police and other senior officers in Abuja on Monday (today), explained that the squad will henceforth operate under the state Commissioners of Police, while the Force headquarters unit would be under the DIG, Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.
He said that a comprehensive reform in terms of ethics, mode of operation, nomenclature and orientation, function delineation command and control and accountability mechanism of SARS will be undertaken.
Adamu also disbanded all quasi-investigation and operations outfits, including the Special Investigation Panel, Special Tactical Squad, IG Monitoring and Intelligence Team, among others.
The Acting IG further announced the setting-up of a Special Election Investigation Team tasked with the exclusive function of investigating and prosecuting electoral offenders.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that before the current development, operations of SARS were centralized at the Force Headquarters.
NAN also recalls that SARS operations were recently reorganized following alleged unethical conduct by personnel of the unit.
Adamu gave the order at a meeting with officers in the rank of Commissioners of Police and above on Monday in Abuja.
He said that with the new arrangement, commissioners of Police in the 36 states and the FCT would assume full command and control of all SARS in their commands.
The Police boss said henceforth, the SARS unit in the Force headquarters would be under the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department.
He said that the DIG FCIID and CPs would be held liable for any professional misconduct resulting from the operations of the units in their commands.
Adamu also directed them to evaluate the units in their commands and submit a report to his office within two weeks.
The Police boss also announced the disbandment of the Special Investigation Panel, Special Tactical Squad and other quasi-investigation and operation units of the Force.
He said that the DIG FCIID would take over and review all cases being currently handled by the units.
Adamu said that a comprehensive reorganisation of the Police Mobile Force, Counter-terrorism unit and Special Protection Unit would also be undertaken.
“This re-positioning process will eventually cascade down to the zonal and state command levels,” he said.
The IG said that the essence of the reorganisation was to restore order and stop the current slide in policing standards.
Adamu also said it would discourage the proliferation of multiplicity of outfits competing for operational space in unprofessional manner.
He said that the capacity of personnel of the Force would be enhanced towards situating its operations within the practice of intelligence-led policing.
He said that at the end of the reform, a protocol that would document its outcome would be developed.
The Police boss charged the officers to remain dedicated to their duties by exhibiting the highest level of leadership and character.