The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Ibrahim Idris, has warned personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) against unprofessional conduct.
Mr. Idris gave the warning at a meeting with SARS commanders in Abuja on Thursday, less than 24 hours after an Amnesty International report indicted the squad of systematically torturing detainees in its custody as a means of extracting confessions and lucrative bribes.
The IG told the operatives to correct the erroneous impression about the unit.
“You have to correct this impression .This is a new beginning to give the nation a new anti-robbery squad.
“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 the new SARS should be an advocate of the new Change Mantra of the present administration.
Mr. Idris said the human rights groups would be involved in the training of SARS operatives, adding that an intelligence 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 every SARS unit would be under the command structure of the police commissioners in the states, except the FCT.
Mr. Idris also warned them against mounting road blocks as it remained banned.
“They will be redeployed periodically when there is 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 a visit to the various detention facilities and make their report.
He said it was illegal for any police personnel to shoot into the air and cause panic in the community.
Idris also urged police officers to develop good working relationship with people in their various communities.
Responding, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal SARS, 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.