The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has warned personnel of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) against unprofessional conduct.
Idris, who gave the warning at a meeting with SARS commanders in Abuja on Thursday, told the operatives to correct the erroneous impression about the unit.
This is coming on the heels of a damning report by Amnesty International on extra-judicial killings and other anti-human right practices in SARS.
The report was also published by the Independent newspaper in the United Kingdom under the title “Elite Nigerian police unit allegedly ‘strings up suspects like cattle, tortures them – and gets rich doing it’”.
“You have to correct this impression .This is a new beginning to give the nation a new anti-robbery squad”, Idris warned.
“You don’t have the right to take life of anybody or change civil offence to criminal offence.
“Please don’t fail us. This management has the hope in you, I don’t want you (SARS) to fail us”, he said.
He said that the new SARS should be an advocate of the new Change Mantra of the present administration.
Idris said that the human rights groups would be involved in the training of SARS operatives, adding that an intelligent unit would be created for the unit.
“We are going to retrain you even as you work in your different zones.
“You should have the courage to tackle what is against human nature”, he said.
He said that every SARS unit would be under the command structure of the police commissioners in the states, except the FCT.
Idris also warned them against mounting road blocks as it remained banned.
“They will be redeployed periodically when there are security reports”, he said.
The police boss said SARS had a great role to play in the security of the country.
He urged the media to request for a visit to the various detention facilities and make their report.
He said that it was illegal for any police personnel to shoot into the air and cause panic in the community.
The I-G urged police officers to develop good working relationship with people in their various communities.
Responding, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal SARS, Mr Dibal Yakadi, assured of the readiness of his men to operate within the confines of the laws.
“We will not disappoint you; we will work round the clock to restore the lost confidence, we will continue to talk to our men”, he said.