New Nigerian police unit to begin training next week as SARS disbanded
Pretoria - The Nigerian Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar Adamu said the training of a new police unit to take over from the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) which was scrapped on Sunday will commence next week.
The dissolution of SARS comes after protests broke out last week when a video emerged showing members of the unit allegedly shooting a man dead in Delta State.
In a statement on Tuesday, Adamu said with SARS being disbanded, there was a need to put in place a new structure to carry out the duties the defunct police unit.
He said the new police unit will be intelligence-driven, properly trained and only act on special occasions that require their attention. He added that the unit will be made up of fresh personnel with a fresh orientation and not officers from the scrapped unit.
Adamu said opportunities will be created for members of the public to participate in and give input into the formation of the new unit.
Adamu promised to investigate all cases of brutality and bring perpetrators to book, adding that the matter of compensation to the families of those affected by SARS would be addressed once investigations had concluded.
“We want justice to be done and justice will be done,” he said.
The police boss said officers of the disbanded unit will be retrained and given other responsibilities in the force but will not be reabsorbed into the new unit.
According to Premium Times, for years, Nigerians have accused SARS of heavy-handed methods, particularly the youth, who say officers regularly target and beat them and subject them to extortion.
The Nigerian publication added that an Amnesty International report in June documented 82 cases of SARS allegedly mistreating and torturing detainees and carrying out extrajudicial executions of detainees.
African News Agency/ANA