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Just In: IGP sets up Special Weapon team, SARS replacement

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Hours after disbanding Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Nigeria, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammadu Adamu, has set up a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team that would fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct squad.

Also to prevent brutality and extra-judicial killings in the country, Adamu directed all personnel of the defunct SARS to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.

The IGP, who announced the establishment on Tuesday, stated that prospective members of the new team would also undergo the training to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment in the country.

Adamu, in a statement made available to The Guild by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, said that the officers expected to take over from the defunct SARS personnel would be subjected to tactical training at different locations across the country.

According to him, the Police Commands in the South-East and the South-South would be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State.

The Police boss added that those in North and the South-West would be trained at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa state and the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun state to ensure proximity.

While reaffirming his irrevocable commitment towards a holistic implementation of the planned police reforms, the IGP appealed to EndSARS protesters to exercise restraint and allow measures being put in place to start.

To fulfil yearnings and aspirations of the protesters, Adamu stated that personnel of the dissolved SARS would undergo the psychological and medical examination training as a prelude to other reorientation exercise expected to be carried out before the officers would be redeployed to mainstream policing duties.

He said: “The medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a Unit, which henceforth shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.

“The Unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership drawn from amongst psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, Public Relations practitioners, Civil Society and other Human Rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise”.

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