Oyo State Police Command has said that it has carried out a medical and psychological evaluation of operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state.
The move was said to be in partial fulfilment to the five-point agenda of the #EndSARS protest, earlier instructed by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
According to a statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Olugbenga Fadeyi, the evaluation, which was carried out on November 10, 2020, was in accordance to section 8 (10) of the Police Act and regulations.
The PPRO said that the evaluation was carried out by the newly-constituted Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU).
In his address during the opening of the evaluation process, the state Commissioner of Police, Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu appreciated the operatives for the success stories recorded so far. But Enwonwu condemned the high-handedness and unprofessional conduct of some SARS personnel, while he charged them to embrace human rights-based policing in whichever new formation they would be posted to.
The PPRO disclosed that the exercise was divided into three stages, with the aim of first debriefing the personnel, then evaluating them medically and psychologically.
As part of the process, police officers and men were interviewed, with the aim of ascertaining the level of their mental balance towards the disbandment of the unit, and to see if they were fit for possible deployment to other units.
SP Fadeyi stated further that the second stage was medical, which included the taking of urine samples from officers and men, to determine the presence of hard drug of any kind.
He stated that the procedure was geared towards ascertaining whether the behaviour of the operatives used to be influenced by hard drugs. He added that the third stage, which was psychological, was based on the result of the medical test and answers provided in the PSCU protocol questions.
“A team of psychological experts then handpicked those who needed intensive medical and psychological attention to treat with immediate effect,” he said.
According to the Commissioner of Police, the IGP was working hard towards engendering a police force based on respect for fundamental human rights.
Enwonwu had enjoined members of the public to make use of the Command’s Public Complaints Bureau (PCB), a unit under the Public Relations wing of the Command set-up, to treat cases of unprofessional conduct, acts or omission by the police.
He urged the good citizens of the State to take advantage of the newly-launched online platform for reporting such cases, with the promise to deal with erring officers.
The CP also advised citizens of the state to stop taking laws into their hands and imbibe the habits of reporting to the appropriate authority.
Enwonwu assured the state of the emergence of better police than it had ever been experienced in the history of the state.