The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has banned officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) from searching the mobile phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets of citizens.
The IGP gave the directive in a letter titled, ‘Order and directives: Restrictions on the operations of F-SARS, SARS, IRT, STS, state anti-kidnapping units and other special units under any nomenclature that operates in mufti across all formation, zones and state commands.’
“Henceforth the indiscriminate, unauthorised, and degrading search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart electronic devices of citizens by the Special Units and all Police operatives of different Formations, Zones, Commands and Units is hereby banned.
“The only exception is if such an act is in furtherance to a specific case that has been reported and is a subject of criminal investigation in specific Formation, Command, Police Station or Unit. In which case, due process must be followed by the investigating team”
The IGP directed that all recent cases of abuses of power and violation of rights of citizens by FSARS, SARS, IRT, STS and other police teams should be compiled by the Heads of all Police Formations, Commands and Units and forwarded to his Office not later than Friday 9th October, 2020.
Adamu directed the CP X-Squad, Force Provost Marshall (FPM) and IGP Monitoring Unit to immediately coordinate and deploy joint teams across all the 36 States Commands and the FCT with a view to enforce the Order.