On Tuesday, Nigeria’s Inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, set up a new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to fill gaps arising from the scrapping of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The decision comes amid raging protests for police reforms in Africa’s most populous nation, one that has failed to abate even after the IGP announced the scrapping of SARS, the main culprit in most abuse cases in the country.
Members of the SWAT team, Mohammed said, will undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility.
The IGP said members of the new team will begin training at different police tactical training institutions next week.
The police boss said personnel from police commands in the south east and south south will train at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State.
Personnel from commands in the north at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa State
Those from the south west will train at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State.
Meanwhile personnel of the defunct SARS are to report at the Force Headquarters Abuja for “debriefing, psychological and medical examination,” according to a statement released Tuesday by Force Spokesman Frank Mba.
“The officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.”
A newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit will carry out medical examination on the defunct SARS personnel on recall.
The unit will henceforth engage in psychological management, reorientation and training of officers deployed for tactical operations.
Its members include psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, pastors, imams, public relations experts, civil society and human rights groups.
Domiciled in the Police’s medical department and coordinated by a medical officer.