It is illegal for Police to search your Phones, Laptops or Bank Accounts without Court Order – IG of Police
Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has transmitted a matching order to policemen in Nigeria, especially the FSARS unit, who got the transmission to desist from checking citizens’ account details, phones or laptops without valid order from the court and authorisation by the Commissioner of Police in the State.
Idris told the operatives of the reformed Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, to desist from checking citizens’ bank account details forthwith, warning them not to invade people’s phones and laptops unless they have a court order or an instruction from the commissioner of police in charge of a state police command.
Speaking during the weekend at a workshop on the reformed FSARS in Owerri, Imo state, the IGP warned that any FSARS operatives who violated the new rules would be dismissed from the Force immediately.
Ibrahim, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP’s X-Squad, Amaechi Elumelu, said that any FSARS operative who handles cases not related to armed robbery and kidnapping would equally be dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force.
He said that under the new era in FSARS, the operatives must be professional and respect the rights and privileges of all citizens.
The IGP recalled that in the past, FSARS was considered the most elitist and professional Unit of the Police Force because of its conduct.
He regretted that in the last two years, the Unit had been riddled with allegations of abuse and excesses which made the public to call for its disbandment.
He said, “under the reformed FSARS, it is illegal to search suspects phones, computers, or inquire about their bank account details without proper authorization.
“Henceforth, the FSARS Commanders must get directives from the State Commissioners before invading people’s privacies. Any officer who disobeys will be dismissed.”
The police boss disclosed that all operatives of FSARS would undergo medical evaluation in order to guarantee their mental, psychological, emotional conditions.
He advised all FSARS operatives to be computer literate in order to adapt to the current innovations going on in the department.
The police boss warned the operatives not to detain any suspect for more than 48 hours without a remand order from the court.
He also called for the establishment of a Medical Department in FSARS so as to provide medical assistance to sick suspects.