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15 August 2018

Osinbajo orders SARS’ overhaul

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has directed Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to, with immediate effect, overhaul the management and activities of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

This followed complaints and reports on the activities of SARS, which bordered on allegations of human rights violations.

There have been outcries on alleged infractions and atrocities by SARS operatives, such that Nigerians on social media began a campaign, #ENDSARS, to scrap the unit.

Despite the outcries, the police maintained that SARS was living up to its responsibilities, a few bad eggs notwithstanding.


At a meeting between the police and #ENDSARS campaigners on Sunday, the service urged Nigerians to embrace SARS reform, listing the dangers associated with scrapping the unit.

With Osinbajo’s directive, any unit that would emerge from the overhaul must be intelligence-driven and restricted to the prevention and detection of robbery and kidnapping, as well as arrest of offenders linked to the offences.

The Acting President said the new unit that would emerge should not venture into any other assignment.

These were contained in a statement by Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

The Acting President also directed the IGP to ensure that operatives in the unit conduct their operations in adherence to the rule of law and with regard to International Human Rights Law and the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of suspects.

The operatives, he said, should bear proper identification anytime they are on duty.


Osinbajo directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up a special panel that would conduct investigation of the alleged unlawful activities of SARS, in order to afford the public the opportunity to present their grievances, with a view to ensuring redress.


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