The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has told operatives of the reformed Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad to desist from checking citizens’ bank account details.
The IG also warned the F-SARS operatives not to check people’s phones and laptops unless there was a court order or an instruction from the Commissioner of Police in charge of a state police command.
Speaking during a workshop in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Idris warned that any F-SARS operative who violated the new rules would be dismissed from the force.
Ibrahim, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP’s X-Squad, Amaechi Elumelu, said any F-SARS operative who handled cases not related to armed robbery and kidnapping would equally be dismissed from the Force.
He said, “Under the new era in F-SARS, operatives must be professional and respect the rights and privileges of all citizens. In the past, F-SARS was considered as the most elitist and professional unit of the police force.
“In the last few years, the unit has been riddled with allegations of abuse and excesses which made the public to call for its disbandment.
“Under the reformed F-SARS, it is illegal to search suspects’ phones, computers, or inquire about their bank account details without proper authorisation.
“Henceforth, F-SARS commanders must get directives from the state Commissioners of Police before invading people’s privacy. Any officer who disobeys will be dismissed.”
The police boss said all operatives of F-SARS would undergo medical evaluation in order to guarantee their mental, psychological and emotional condition.