The Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS), Mr Haliru Gwandu said on Wednesday that Human Rights Desk Officers have been mandated to receive complaints from the public on rights abuses by operatives of the special squad.
Gwandu said that the police had set up human rights desks in all the 36 states and FCT, assuring that the complaints would be treated with dispatch by the Force Headquarters.
The CP made this known while sensitising officers and men of the Kaduna State Police Command to the new Standard Operational Guidelines and Procedures, and Code of Conduct for all F-SARS personnel.
He urged members of the public who have any complain in the past or present of the violation of their rights by any SARS personnel anywhere in the country to report via the designated channels for investigation.
According to him, the new F-SARS personnel would strictly adhere to the rule of law in all operations.
“The F-SARS should not involve themselves in civil and commercial cases and they cannot go and be escorts for Very Important Persons (VIP’s),” he added.
Gwandu further said F-SARS was now saddled with the responsibility of fighting Armed Robbery and kidnapping, adding that the aim was to have a consistent and coherent approach in the identification and management of armed robbery and kidnapping.
He also gave assurance that the F-SARS will henceforth conform to democratic laws in providing services to all Nigerians irrespective of the their status and background.
“Periodic training programme, medical and psychological screening in collaboration with some Civil Society Organizations, local and international NGOs, and other Human Rights Organizations on core police duties, observant of human rights and handling care and custody of suspects have been directed by the Inspector General of police for all Federal SARS personnel nationwide with immediate effect.
“A new Standard Operational Guidelines and Procedures and code of conduct for all FSARS personnel to ensure that the operations of FSARS is in strict adherence to the rule of law and constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens has been unveiled and being enforced in totality.
“Henceforth, FSARS personnel are not to be seen on stop and search duties except on distress call to respond to armed robbery and kidnapping offences only.
“And they must appear in their police uniform with full identification pending the launch of new F-SARS uniform with identity name tag by the Inspector General of Police for all F-SARS personnel throughout the country,” he added.