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#EndSarsNow: SARS Is Not A Creation of Law.

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#EndSarsNow: SARS Is Not A Creation of Law. Daily Law Tips (Tip 673) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LL.M, ACIArb(UK)


Nigeria Police Force is a creation of the constitution of Nigeria. It is created by law just like other law enforcement agencies, like State Secuirty Service (SSS) and Nigeria Secuirty and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is a tactical unit of the Nigeria Police Force focusing on combating armed robbers. With the recent public outcry for disbandment of SARS because of indiscriminate  abuse of human rights, many wonder if SARS is even known to law. This work examines the legal status of SARS and the powers of the Inspector General Police to disband SARS. 

Formation  of SARS:

In the Nigeria Police Force, there is the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID). SARS was setup to deal with; “armed robbery, car snatching, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and crimes associated with firearms”.

SARS was formed in 1992 by a former police commissioner (CP. Simeon Danladi Midenda), with only 15 police officers. During its formation, there were three (3) other existing anti-robbery squads and the prefix “SPECIAL” was added to SARS to differentiate it from the other anti-robbery squads. 

Legal Status of SARS:  

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) is the head of Nigeria Police Force and he is answerable to the President of Nigeria. Among other powers and duties, the IGP can administer and organise the Nigeria Police Force into various components, units or groups for overall optimal performance and effectiveness. There are few units and services in the Nigeria Police Force that are created by law, like the Police Public Complaints Response Unit and the Traffic Warden Service are created by the Police Act of 2020. Most of the units in Nigeria Police Force are created by the IGP and his subordinates. Units that are not created by law are not legal persons that can be sue and be sued. 

Although, the Nigeria Police Force is a creation of law, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is not a creation of law. It is not unlawful and illegal even though it is not statutorily created by any law. SARS is an administrative and operational creation of Nigeria Police Force to assist in attainment of the overall goals of Nigeria Police Force. Hence, SARS like any other unit that is not statutorily created, can be dissolved by the IGP. The IGP has powers to form and disband units, departments and groups under the Nigeria Police Force. On Sunday 11 October 2020, bowing to nationwide agitation and protests for disbandment of SARS (#EndSarsNow), the IGP (Mohammed Adamu) disbanded SARS. 


The Nigeria Police Force is a creation of law but SARS is not a creation of law, rather a creation of an officer created by law. SARS is a creation of the Inspector General of Police (head of Nigeria Police Force) and as such can be dissolved and disbanded by the said head of Nigeria Police Force. Since SARS is not a creation of law, no amendment of a legislation is needed for SARS to be disbanded, rather an order from the Inspector General of Police is sufficient. The IGP has powers to form and disband units and same has been properly used in the interest of justice and the public. 

My authorities, are:

1. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 33 to 46, 214, 215 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

2. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9(1)(c), 122 and 134 of the Police Act, 2020

3. “Nigeria: Special police squad ‘get rich’ torturing detainees and demanding bribes in exchange for freedom” (Amnesty International, 21 September 2016) < > accessed 5 October 2020. 

4. “Special Anti-Robbery Squad” (Wikimedia Foundation, 5 October 2020) < > accessed 5 October 2020.

5. “End SARS” < > (Wikimedia Foundation, 5 October 2020) accessed 5 October 2020

6. “Demand justice for Police Brutality in Nigeria” (Amnesty International) < > accessed 5 October 2020

7. “Nigerians want police’s SARS force scrapped”, Aisha Salaudeen (Aljazeera, 17 December 2017) < > accessed 5 October 2020

8. Onyekachi Umah, “Any Security Agency’s Manual/Protocol That Allows Torture Even For National Security Cases Is Unlawful And Its Officers Are Liable”. (Daily Law Tip [Tip 412] < > accessed 5 October 2020. 

9. Onyekachi Umah, “What Is The Punishment For Any Person Including Police Officers That Tortures Another Person”. (Daily Law Tip [251]) < > accessed 5 October 2020.

10. Onyekachi Umah, “Is Obeying “Orders From Above” A Defence For Torture In Nigeria” (Daily Law Tips [Tip 409]) < > accessed 5 October 2020. 

11. Direct access to previous works on Torture in Nigeria < >  

12. Direct access to previous works on Nigeria Police Force < >

13. Kingsley Omonobi, “IGP disbands SARS, pledges advanced Police reforms” < > accessed 12 October 2020. 










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