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IGP Orders Deployment Of SWAT Operatives

Mohammed Adamu, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP), has ordered the deployment of recently trained operatives of the Special Weapon and Tactical Team (SWAT) across the country for routine patrols.

According to a report by The Nation, a letter released on Tuesday by the IGP stated that “The Inspector General of Police directs that all recently selected and trained Special Weapon and Tactical Team (SWAT) operatives are to be deployed for routine duties across areas of responsibility immediately.”

The letter was addressed to all the 17 Assistant Inspector Generals of Police across the country.

On October 11, the IGP announced the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) after protests erupted across the country calling for an end to police brutality and extortion by that unit of the Nigeria Police. 

”In the finest spirit of democratic, citizen-centred and community policing, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has today, 11th October, 2020, dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed,” a statement by Frank Mba, the Force Spokesperson read.

”The IGP, while noting that the dissolution of SARS is in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, observes that by this dissolution, all officers and men of the now defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad are being redeployed with immediate effect.”

Following this, the police chief on October 12 announced the formation of a new unit called SWAT that replaced the disbanded SARS.

Frank Mba in a statement announcing the formation of SWAT stated that the prospective members of the new outfit would undergo tactical training and also a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.

Prospective members of this new team will also undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment. They are to commence training at the different Police tactical training institutions nationwide, next week,” Mba said.

Early October, Nigerians launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #EndSARS to document the abuses and extortion by SARS officers and this culminated a nationwide protest on the streets of 21 states after a SARS officer allegedly shot a young man in Delta State.

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