The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Friday announced the arrest and arraignment of suspected producers of counterfeit number plates.
Bisi Kazeem, the chief spokesperson for the FRSC, said a joint operation with the State Security Service (SSS) targeted syndicates in Kano and Kebbi States — during which many were arrested.
Some of the areas where the operation was conducted in Kano included Sabon Gari, Kofar Ruwa, Gidan Boss (Kofar Mazugal) Kofar Wambai (Yan Robobi) and Naibawa Zaria Road, Mr Kazeem said.
“In a swift investigation and tactically orchestrated covert operation, by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Department of State Services (DSS), to track down the producers of fake Number Plates in the country; both agencies have apprehended some syndicates in Kano and Kebbi states in connection with the production of illegal number plates including the fake Kano ‘ Chip Whip’ Number Plate,” he said.
At Dodaru Market, Gwandu Local Government Area of Kebbi State, suspects were arrested for allegedly producing fake number plates for motorcycles.
They were arraigned on Friday before the Chief Magistrate’s Court 1 in the capital Birnin Kebbi.
The accused pleaded not guilty but were remanded in prison custody until November 28, 2019 for further hearing, Mr Kazeem said.
The spokesperson did not immediately disclose how many suspects were arrested in total.
The sweep came barely weeks after social media ridiculed a number plate that was printed as ‘Chip Whip’ — an apparent misspelling of ‘Chief Whip’ — and attached to an SUV purportedly owned by the Chief Whip of Kano State House of Assembly.
The politician subsequently disowned the number plates, saying it could not have been owned by him because he had not been assigned any official vehicle since assuming office in June.
The FRSC also said it was not responsible for the production of the controversial number plate, highlighting other obvious alterations that made it impossible to have come from its facility.
Boboye Oyeyemi, the head of FRSC, subsequently ordered an investigation and later sought collaboration of the SSS and other security agencies to track down those responsible for the embarrassment.
Mr Kazeem said Mr Oyeyemi was delighted by the recent arrests and urged the public to continue to support law enforcement authorities with information about people suspected of manufacturing or selling fake number plates across the country.