Human rights activist, Femi Falana, has said that talks of the ban on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has "become a ritual".
He said that the anti-robbery unit of the police has been rebranded and continues to operate under "different names or structure".
Falana described the ban as a "policy somersault", adding that it showed an ineffective leadership.
He said, “The police high command has banned SARS several times. It has become a ritual. But SARS continues to operate under different names or structure. What we see is like removing sour wine and putting it in the same old, rusty bottles. Nothing remarkable has changed in the police command structure that aids all forms of repression and extra-judicial killings.
“To declare a ban on SARS again is nothing but policy somersault. It does not show effective leadership neither does it portray the police authority as consistent.”
During a live chat on Instagram with singer Naira Marley to discuss the ban on the rogue officers, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Frank Mba, said that the unit could not be scrapped because they are effective at responding to robberies and kidnappings.
He explained, “What we need to do is to reform SARS and make them responsive, responsible and work in accordance with laid down procedures.
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“We need them to continue to respond to violent crimes. We need them to continue to respond to armed robberies. We need them to continue to respond to kidnappings.
“You talk about end SARS, you cannot end SARS but let us ask for reform. Why do you want to end SARS? Are you an armed robber?. He queried.
“SARS is a special arm that should only come out during robbery incidents.”