From Angela Mbaocha
The Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police (CP), Philip Maku, has constitute a Police Joint Taskforce Enforcement Team, headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the command’s Operations Department to mop up illegal firearms.
A press release signed by the Command’s Spokesperson, Loveth Odah, on Monday, noted that the command has commenced the total enforcement of firearms Act and ban of possession and the use of illegal and prohibited firearms, ammunitions, weapons as well as devices locally fabricated or modified across Ebonyi state.
The CP warned persons and groups to voluntarily submit firearms in their unlawful possession as offenders will not be spared.
He gave those in possession of illegal arms 14days from August 16, 2020, to surrender them to the Task Force team or any nearest Police Station they are domiciled.
The statement reads: “In line with the Inspector-General of Police directives to all the Command Commissioners of police and other Police formations to mop up, seize and recover all prohibited and other illegal firearms and ammunitions, weapons and devices, locally fabricated or modified that can cause death or injury on persons across the state.
“This is sequel to proliferation of the firearms among many groups, including Vigilante, Militia and all other groups.
“It is important to redraw the attention of the general public to Part II (3) of the schedule of the Firearms Act L.N32 of 1959 which prohibited the possession of firearms mentioned in Part 1 of Firearms Act except in accordance with a license granted by Mr. President.
“To this end, CP Philip Sule Maku, has set up a Police Joint Task Enforcement Team headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of command’s Operations Department with a mandate to commence the mop-up, seizure and recovery of all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunitions from unauthorized persons, suspected militias groups, criminal/unlawful gangs.
“The operation will equally include cordon, 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.
“The CP further warns members of the general public, individuals and groups such as vigilantes, town unions, hunters and Neighbourhood Watch/Watch night men or any group or association under any capacity or guise other than statutory Security Agencies recognized and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bear firearms of specified category, in possession of illegal arms to surrender them.
“Those in possession of such Firearms are given fourteen (14) days from today, 16th August, 2020 to surrender them to the Task Force team of any nearest Police Station they are domiciled,” according to the release.