Nigeria Replaces SARS With SWAT

Following the disbandment of a rogue police unit in Nigeria, the West African country’s Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has created a new department to replace the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Adamu announced the new unit named Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team on Tuesday in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba.

The unit, he said, will fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct SARS.

Mba said recruitment has commenced for operatives of the new unit, stating “prospective members of this new team will also undergo 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.

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“While personnel from the Police Commands in the South-East and the South-South will be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State, those from the Police Commands from the North and the South-West will be trained at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa State and the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State, respectively.

“While reaffirming his irrevocable commitment towards the successful and holistic implementation of the Police reforms, the IGP enjoins members of the public, particularly protesting citizens to exercise restraint and allow measures being put in place to come to fruition and engender a Police Force that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.”

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The IGP also ordered all operatives of the defunct SARS to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.

Mba said the order was in accordance with Section 18 (10) of the Police Act 2020.

Mba said the officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

“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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