No fewer than 305 former officers attached to the now-dismantled Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are detained at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, a senior police officer told The Realm News.
Inspector-General Mohammed Adamu and the police commission are, according to our source, unsure of what to do with the scores of highly-trained and “dangerous” former SARS officers.
Adamu had, in the wake of the EndSARS protests, ordered the former officers to report to the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja for debriefing.
Adamu said that a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) unit would fill the security void left by SARS, a former police unit that had allegedly degenerated into an agent of extortion, illegal arrests and extra-judicial killing. Adamu said no officer attached to the disbanded SARS would be allowed to work with SWAT.
The police hierarchy is now unsure of what to do with the former SARS officers who are held in Abuja, our source, who does not want to be named, said.
“About 305 former SARS officers are detained in Abuja as we speak,” our source said.
“The Police IG and the rest of the police leadership don’t know what to do with them. These former SARS officers are highly trained in weaponry, tactics and security manoeuvres. The IG fears that releasing them into society would be as dangerous as letting Boko Haram terrorists walk free.
“The situation is terrible as even the regular police officers are afraid of former SARS members.
“Some months ago, the police arrested former SARS officers after an investigation found them wanting. The officers were dismissed. This was before the EndSARS protests.
“Three weeks after that dismissal, the police responded to an armed robbery where they killed one of the thieves who turned out to be one of the officers that were recently dismissed.
“These former SARS officers are very dangerous and the Police IG knows this. They can cause trouble for Nigeria if allowed to roam free.
“Many of them are diabolic and they are open about it. They brag about possessing charms that stop bullets from penetrating their skin.
“These former SARS officers are dangerous. During the days of SARS, they usually respond quickly to armed robbery so they could kill the robbers and re-loot their loot.
“One former SARS officer who was killed by the police was later found to have had more properties than a certain state governor whose name I will not mention,” our source said.
There are widespread allegations against the Nigeria Police Force and its former SARS unit. Following the dissolution of SARS, state governments have set up panels of inquiry to investigate indicted officers and compensate victims.