The IGP says the Force is committed towards curbing abuse of power by officers.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has appealed for patience from Nigerians while he reforms the notorious Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Officers of the tactical unit have become public enemy number one over the past few years for numerous acts of abuse including harassment, extortion, torture, and extra-judicial murder.
Millions of Nigerians have campaigned for years to have the unit scrapped after numerous high profile incidents that eroded public trust in them.
The campaign has been largely sidestepped by authorities who have instead announced reforms over the years that have failed to properly curb the unit’s menace.
The latest outrage against FSARS over the past weekend led Adamu to announce a number of restrictions to their operations on Sunday, October 4, 2020.
According to new measures, FSARS and other tactical squads are banned from carrying out routine patrols, and other conventional low-risk duties including stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, and traffic checks.
They are also banned from embarking on patrols or assignments without official uniform or tactical gear.
“The IGP has warned the tactical squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices.
“They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises,” an official statement read.
While speaking during a meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, on Monday, October 5, the IGP said the reform of the unit will take time.
He reaffirmed his commitment towards ensuring the enforcement of ongoing reforms, and noted that the latest measures will curb future incidents of extra-judicial activities by officers.
According to a statement signed by Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, the IGP also reiterated that officers who have been caught to have been unprofessional in their conduct will face disciplinary actions.
Many Nigerians have expressed little confidence in the new measures, especially since they were measures similarly announced in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
There are a series of protests scheduled to take place against the atrocities of FSARS in some states on Tuesday, October 6.