The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the closure of all satellite units of the Intelligence Response Team and Special Tactical Squad across the country.
This comes a day after the arrest of the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari and others by authorities of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency over alleged drug dealings.
All serving officers in the satellite units have been asked to report to the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing.
A police source confirmed this on Tuesday, adding that authorities have directed that serving officers and men in the unit will be demobilised and posted to commands across the country.
Meanwhile, the Force management also directed that the IRT/STS Headquarters in Abuja should be fortified and organised for enhanced operational performance to combat emerging trends.
In July 2020, the then-Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu had directed the disbandment of the satellite offices and bases of the IRT and STS, leaving the headquarters of the units under the State Investigation Bureau as a response to the public outcry on human rights infringement by some officers of these units.
Civil society organisations had also commended the disbandment, stressing that most of the alleged atrocities that have dented the image of the Police were carried out at the satellite bases, where the operatives acted with impunity.
According to them, the IG’S decision was to ensure that IRT Officers operate in the various state commands under the strict supervision and control of the state commissioners.
The Commissioners of Police would be held responsible for any excesses and failure of the operatives or failure to hold them accountable for a breach of due process.
The formations of the two units of the police followed moves by the Force Headquarters to reposition the police and ensure accountability and due process.