OWERRI – Operatives of the reformed Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, have been advised to desist from checking citizens’ bank account details.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris gave the warning on at the weekend at a workshop on the reformed FSARS in Owerri, Imo state, stressing that any FSARS operatives who violated the new rules would be dismissed from the force immediately.
The Police boss also warned the FSARS operatives not to invade people’s phones and laptops unless they have a court order or an instruction from the commissioner of police in charge of a state police command.
Ibrahim, who was represented by the Deputy commissioner of police in charge of the IGP’s X-Squad, Amaechi Elumelu, said that any FSARS operative who handles cases not related to armed robbery and kidnapping would equally be dismissed from the Nigeria police force.
He said that under the new era in FSARS, the operatives must be professional and respect the rights and privileges of all citizens.
The IGP recalled that in the past, FSARS was considered the most elitist and professional Unit of the Police force because of its conduct.
He regretted that in the last two years, the Unit had been riddled with allegations of abuse and excesses which made the public to call for its disbandment.
He said, “under the reformed FSARS, it is illegal to search suspects phones, computers, or inquire about their bank account details without proper authorization.
“Henceforth, the FSARS Commanders must get directives from the State Commissioners before invading people’s privacies. Any officer who disobeys will be dismissed.”
The police boss disclosed that all operatives of FSARS would undergo medical evaluation in order to guarantee their mental, psychological, emotional conditions.
He advised all FSARS operatives to be computer literate in order to adapt to the current innovations going on in the department.
The police boss warned the operatives not to detain any suspect for more than 48 hours without a remand order from the court.
He also called for the establishment of a medical department in FSARS so as to provide medical assistance to sick suspects.
The FSARS commander in Imo state, Geoffrey Victor, a chief superintendent of police, said that the Unit under his supervision would obey and carry out the IGP’s instructions under the reformed F-SARS to the letter.