Apparently in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to overhaul the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, following a meeting with operatives of the merged units of state SARS and Federal SARS attached to the Command, now known as FSARS, warned the operatives against deviating from the IGP’s order on decency and civility.
The meeting, which held at the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) secretariat in Ikeja, also had in attendance heads of anti-cultism, as well as anti-kidnapping units.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, then Acting President, last month ordered the IGP to immediately overhaul the SARS unit, following persistent complaints from members of the public over unwarranted harassments, illegal arrest, uncivility, among others, leveled against its operatives nationwide.
In a statement signed by the state Police spokesman, Mr. Chike Oti, the Commissioner charged FSARS operatives to always appear in full Police uniform when going on operations, in addition to using Police-marked vehicles.
The statement quoted Imohimi as urging members of the public to report any persons or group of persons in mufti and unmarked vehicles claiming to be FSARS operatives to the nearest Police station.
According to the statement: “This is sequel to the recent directive from the Inspector General of Police that FSARS personnel must restrict their role to the handling of violent crimes, like armed robbery and kidnapping, and that they must dress in Police uniform while carrying out their functions and not mufti, as was the case.
The lecture was to ensure adherence and compliance with this directive.
“The CP warned the men and officers must never operate in commercial vehicles and urged members of the public to alert the Police leadership anytime they see people in mufti or inside a commercial vehicle operating or claiming to be FSARS operatives. He said it is no longer acceptable for FSARS personnel to operate in any other type of clothes, except the full Police uniform.
“The CP also wishes to call the attention of residents of Agungi in the Lekki-Ajah area of Lagos to be on the lookout for a wine colour.