By Michael Ofulue
The Ondo State Police Command, yesterday said it has complied with the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Idris, that officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other special units of the Nigeria Police Force, should always put on their conventional uniform while on duty.
To this end, SARS operatives and other Squads concerned will continue to wear their police uniform pending the time the police High command will release their new official uniform with possible names tag boldly written on it and their serial numbers.
Speaking with The Hope Metro on the compliance in a chat, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Femi Joseph, said SARS operatives, Special Anti-Cultism,(SACS) and the Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad (SAKS) are expected to put on their police conventional uniform while carrying out their lawful and legitimate duties.
He explained that SARS detectives are mostly affected by the IGP order, due to reports by members of the public against them in some alleged areas of violation of human dignity and their rights across the federation
He disclosed that the state Police Commissioner, Mr Olugbenga Adeyanju has continued to ensure that all affected officers in Ondo State Command key into the new policing methodology.
The police spokesman hinted that there are IGP monitoring units all over the 36 states of the federation, including FCT Abuja monitoring policemen and also the Commissioner of Police monitoring units, who are going round to ensure that policemen in the affected squads are doing what is expected of them.
He said any policeman caught to have acted contrary to the order and directive of the police helmsman would have himself to blames, as the police authority will not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with such officer.
His words, “We have complied with the IGP order and directives. Men of Federal SARS in the State police command have been putting on their uniforms while carrying out any operation in the state.
IGP and CP monitoring units are going round everywhere keeping their eagle eyes on them.
By the new directives, no policeman will commit any offence and go scot free because the names and numbers of every policeman is written on his uniform for easy identification.
“This new innovation in the police has helped in checkmating police excesses and it had paid off. You will agree with me that since the directive, the police, especially SARS operatives are becoming civil in the manner of their operations and there has not been many reported incident of extra judicial killings.
While urging the members of the public to see police as a changed institution saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the society said it would continue to do its best in ensuring safety of lives and property.
It would be recalled that many Nigerians, civil societies and non-governmental organizations have been calling for the scrapping of SARS, due to reported cases of extra judicial killings and violation of human rights.
The Hope Metro learnt that this prompted IGP Idris to issue a directive compelling SARS personnel to start wearing uniform while on duty and also release their new mode of operations.
He also warned them from dabbing into civil cases against their usual work of tackling armed robbery cases.