The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has told the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad across the country to respect people’s rights or risk being sanctioned.
Idris who said membership of FSARS was voluntary asked those who felt they could not cope with the reforms in the unit to opt out.
He said, forthwith, any FSARS officer who detained any suspect beyond 48 hours without recourse to the court risked dismissal.
The IGP read the riot act at the Anambra State Police Command Headquarters, Amawbia during a lecture to officers of FSARS.
Represented by the National Coordinator X-Squad, Mr. Amaechi Elumelu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, the IGP said the FSARS was created to handle armed robbery and kidnapping cases alone.
“You are created and authorised to handle only armed robbery and kidnapping cases,” Idris stated.
He said the new rule of engagement of the reformed SARS required officers of the unit to undergo medical examinations, especially mental and psychological tests, adding that a counseling Department had been put in place in the unit.
He added, “Operatives of FSARS are to be trained and retrained regularly to equip them with modern working knowledge and skills to perform optimally in line with international best practices.
“You’re barred from searching handsets and laptops of innocent citizens, unless the search is directly linked to a case or directed by IGP or any person or persons so delegated.
“You’re prohibited from detaining any suspect beyond what the law says without recourse to the court.”
He said a custody management system had been introduced in the unit for purposes of documentation and access to information about criminal suspects.