The Nigeria Police Force has clarified that the 40,000 Special Intervention Squad (SIS) operatives currently being trained will not operate like the now-disbanded Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad (SARS).
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi disclosed this in reaction to the public’s inquiry about whether or not it will operate like SARS.
ACP Adejobi said the operatives will be deployed to Katsina and nine other states.
According to him, the proposed Commanders that will be in charge of the squad will be trained in Mexico.
The force spokesman further disclosed that the SIS operatives, who were drawn from the Police Mobile Force, would not be involved in escort duties.
Furthermore, ACP Adejobi revealed that the squads’ commanders would operate under the command of Commissioners of Police in their respective states.
Adejobi said, “The training of the Special Intervention Squad is still on, and the Inspector General of Police has organised training for the SIS Commanders, in a train-the-trainer course. One is ongoing, and another one will come up in Mexico, and the IG has given approval for that.
“We actually want to have enough training before deployment commences, but we are starting very soon with 10 states, while we then move state by state. We have picked some Commanders and instructors to train them, and those are the people who’ll be going to Mexico for training. And the IG has been able to get some equipment for the SIS to start operations.
“But we need to clarify that the SIS is not SARS. People have been asking questions about whether or not it will operate like SARS. No. The SIS are basically operational men, it is mostly Police Mobile Force operatives, CTU operatives, and our tactical squad operatives that will come together under the command of a very senior police officer, either an ACP or a CSP who will be the commander in each state, and they’re not going to be doing stop-and-search work or pursuing ‘Yahoo Boys’. They’re specifically for intervention purposes.
“It is only CPs that will call on the commanders to move their men to certain places for intervention. It’s not that a commander would say, ‘Oh, these people can pay me well, you guys should move there’. That’s not what it’s all about.
“The SIS is a very different squad, and the Standard Operating Procedures and Rules of Engagement are also different, and we are starting very soon. I can confirm that the IG added Katsina State amongst the 10 States, as the Katsina State Governor met with the IG, and also donated some vehicles to the SIS.”