Directs owners of illegal weapons to turn them in or face arrest and prosecution
Directives aimed at checking thuggery and violence in Edo and Ondo elections
Vigilante groups, security outfits advised to operate within extant laws
1By Lawrence Ekwonu
Worried by the security situation in the country, Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has ordered Commissioners of Police in the thirty-six States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to
arrest and prosecute any individual(s) in possession of prohibited firearms.
According to a statement on Sunday by Frank Mba, Police Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, the order is part of preparations toward the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States, as well as efforts by the Police High Command to curb the proliferation of prohibited firearms in the country.
“The directive has become necessary against the backdrop of the deliberate arming and movement of political thugs and other criminal elements across the country.
“In addition, the directive is targeted at addressing the proliferation and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms in the country which is contrary to the provisions of Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 of the Firearms Act”. He said
Similarly, Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the FCT have also been directed to immediately convene an enlightenment meeting of all vigilante groups and quasi security outfits spread across the country in order to ensure that their activities are in conformity with extant laws guiding their establishment and operations.
“The IGP, while observing that several civil groups – vigilantes, quasi states and regional security outfits under various guises are arming themselves with prohibited firearms and weapons in contravention of the provisions of the Firearms Act, notes that the trend if unchecked, will pose serious threat to national security.
The IGP therefore enjoined “citizens to cooperate with the Police in the enforcement of this order as it is aimed at ensuring safety of lives and property in the country”.