The police on Monday in Lagos commenced a two-week training on human rights for Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARS) commanders nationwide to reposition the outfit.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 100 FSARS commanders drawn from the 36 states and Abuja were participating in the exercise.
Opening the training, Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of training, Emmanuel Inyang, said developing FSARS human capacity became necessary in view of different complaints against the outfit.
Mr Inyang warned the operatives against violation of human rights, stressing that the training was compulsory for all FSARS commanders.
He pointed out that the training was a holistic approach to enhance the performance of the commanders, team leaders and the foot soldiers of the FSARS in line with the recent presidential directive.
“FSARS was established to take charge of specific functions pertaining to crime prevention and control as well as to secure life and property.
“But their direct contact with members of the public has brought conflicts, friction and perceived human rights abuses and inherent complaints arising from the performance of their duties.
“There is no doubt that the training would provide the necessary platform for all participants, especially, the foot soldiers of FSARS to understand the necessity of imbibing human rights at their duty post and stations and identified areas of problem,” he said.
Mr Inyang noted that participants were also expected to use the skills they will acquire from the two week training to uphold the highest level of discipline and professionalism in the discharged of their duties.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Haliru Gwandu, said the mandate of the operatives was limited to armed robbery and kidnapping, stressing that anything aside that would not be accepted.
“The current seminar on human rights is one of the critical component that will assist the FSARS to do their job, as it is also going to enrich them in the area of fundamental human rights.
“We expect them to demonstrate competence, courage and professionalism and avoid flagrant abuse of power.
“You are also expected to demonstrate patience and maturity when dealing with members of the public. You must remain courteous and listen to all complaints and ensure fair hearing to parties in dispute.
“Rights of suspects must also be guaranteed by allowing suspects, his or her lawyers or members of civil society organizations to known the nature of crime committed when the need arises,” he said.
Mr Gwandu, however, said all FSARS operatives must provide habitable detention facilities with adequate basic utilities like toilet, water, electricity, bathroom and hygienic and well kept place.
“When critical incident of armed robbery and kidnapping are subject of any investigation, such officers must speed up and ensure that they meet up within the timeframe as provided by the law,” he said.