The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on Thursday set up a task force to enforce the ban placed on illegal and prohibited firearms, ammunition, weapons and devices across the country.
The operation is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act and to recover all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons.
This, according to a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, will enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with herders and farmers clashes, kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, militancy and terrorism.
“A police joint task enforcement team has been set up at the Force Headquarters by the Inspector General of Police, while the Commissioners of Police and the Assistant Inspectors General of Police in the States and Zonal Commands respectively have been mandated to immediately set-up similar Police Joint Task Enforcement Teams in their States and Zones,” the statement read in part.
The task force according to the statement will the mop-up, seize and recover all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from ‘wrong hands.’
“The operation will equally include cordon and search and raid, seizure from any premises, hideouts, dwelling houses or buildings or sites (completed or under construction) or any other location where these illegal/prohibited firearms are kept or on reasonable suspicion are believed to be kept or being used,” the force spokesperson said.
The IGP according to the statement also mandated Commissioners of Police and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police of the 12 Zonal Commands in the country; to immediately commence the mop up operation.
The categories of the prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition, specified under Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 Fire Arms Act include “artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades, machine-guns and machine-pistols, military rifles, namely; those of calibers 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches, Revolvers and Pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols), firearms such as pump action gun of all categories and Any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill.”
The police force also said individuals and groups such as vigilantes and neighbourhood watch group under state governments, local governments or town unions, hunters and watch night men who are currently possessing the illegal firearms are given 21-day ultimatum from February 22, 2018, to surrender them to the Commissioner of Police in their state.