Written by Emediong George
Mohammed Adamu, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has set up a new unit to replace the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS). The formation of the new unit, nicknamed Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) was announced on Tuesday following the dissolution of SARS by the IGP after days of intense street protests against police brutality across the country .
Frank Mba, Police public relations officer (PPRO) said the IGP had summoned all the disbanded SARS personnel to the force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing.
A statement by the PPRO read in part: “The inspector general of police, IGP M.A Adamu, has in accordance with section(10) of the police Act 2020, ordered all personnel of the now defunct SARS to report at the force headquarters Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.”
The officers are expected to undergo the process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.
The new team will take over from the now extinct SARS. Members of SWAT will also undergo psychological and medical examination to detect their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.
The PPRO revealed that the medical examination will be carried out by the recently established police counseling and support unit (PCSU) which henceforth shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the force medical department and coordinated by the force medical officers. The statement disclosed that membership of the PCSU will be drawn from amongst psychiatrists, medics, psychologist and religious leaders. Civil society, public relations and other human right group with relevant qualification and expertise will also be involved in the works of the new team.
Members of SWAT, according to the police spokesman are to embark on a training at the different police tactical training formations nationwide beginning from next week. While personnel from the police commands in the South-East and South-South will be trained at the counter-tourism college, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State, those from the police commands from the North and the South-West will be trained at the police mobile force training college, Ende, Nasarawa State and the police mobile force training college, Ila-Orangun, Osun State.
The IGP promised to compensate the families of the victims of SARS brutality after some investigations have been conducted by the police.