The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, says operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state no longer have the authority to unilaterally detain suspects.
Odumosu made this known on Tuesday morning while featuring on Channels Television‘s programme, Sunrise Daily.
He said he held a sensitisation lecture with the officers of the Force on Monday to sensitise them on the new directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The continuous outrage across the country over the harassment, extortion and extra-judicial killings of innocent Nigerians by SARS operatives rose to a higher level on Sunday attracting the federal government attention.
Among Nigerians who expressed dissatisfaction over the conduct of SARS operatives, describing it as unacceptable include Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo.
The IGP had in a swift reaction banned SARS personnel from engaging in routine patrols, stop-and-search, mounting of roadblocks and traffic checks with immediate effect.
Speaking on the TV programme on Tuesday, the Lagos Commissioner of Police said the recent directive by the IGP will be more effective than earlier directives issued to curtail the excesses of SARS operatives.
Odumosu said, “It is going to be different because there will be more monitoring and more supervision.
“The additional directive I gave yesterday (Monday) is that they must not even go to investigate any case without booking their arrival at the Area Commander’s office so that the Area Commander will know that they are in that area doing what they ought to do. And once they finish, they must go back and file entry.
“Secondly, I gave a directive that they must not detain anybody in their cells any longer. They can only detain at my office or at the Area Commander’s office. And the Area Commander must interview any suspect they want to detain and ascertain that the suspect had done what warranted being detained.
“All these are additional measures put in to make sure that the supervision is effective. So, there is more supervision now and it going to be more effective now.”