SARS: VP Yemi Osinbajo reveals details of meeting with IGP

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, met on Sunday.

The parley was on controversial activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and issues of police reform.

Osinbajo revealed details of the meeting to State House correspondents.

He said: “I had a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, we reviewed several of these issues. The President and I have had discussions, he is very concerned. He wants to see a reform. The IGP has issued a statement looking at these issues, in particular, the warning against the use of tactical units such as SARS for purposes of doing anything other than anti-robbery.
“He specifically said that you cannot have a situation where SARS says, they are investigating cybercrime by arresting young men and women carrying their laptops and phones. Cybercrime is an electronic crime. I don’t see how you can investigate that by seizing people’s phones in a taxi or in their cars.

“It is very obvious that this is a major concern, a few bad eggs in the police force are causing all of these problems because it is all over the place, in different states. There is a need to take serious action. The IG’s statement today, is a good first step. He has said clearly that police men must wear police uniforms.

“You cannot say that because you belong to a tactical unit, you can dress in your casual clothing and be armed, because people can’t even tell the difference between robbers and the police, if you are not properly dressed in police uniform.

“I think that activism is important because they have been able to bring a lot of these issues to the attention of the police and government, and that is an important part of the process of the reform. It is very obvious that this is a major concern. A few bad eggs in the police force are causing all of these problems.
“The IG’s statement today, is a good first step. He has said clearly that officers have to dress properly. You cannot say that because you belong to a tactical unit, you can dress in your casual clothing, armed in a car. People can’t even tell the difference between robbers and the police.

“We all have to work together to ensure that the police and law enforcement agents, do what their duty is and their duty is to protect us, protect our society and livelihoods and homes. Many of them are doing their duties excellently well, but there are some of them who are engaged in these activities.”
Osinbajo expressed confidence that Nigeria will have a reformed police force, assuring that process has already begun.

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