The Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday, while inaugurating a Joint Task Force on the recovery of illegal firearms and ammunition in the territory, urged residents with such arms to submit them within 21 days or face sanctions.
The Inspector-General of Police ( I-G), Ibrahim Idris, had recently directed Commissioners of Police of all the State Commands to commence the recovery of prohibited firearms and ammunition in the country.
The prohibited arms are: artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades and machine-guns and machine-pistols.
Others are: military rifles, those of calibres 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches, revolvers and pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols), pump action gun of all categories and any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill.
The command’s spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, in a statement, said the team is headed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Olumese Valentine.
He said this was in compliance with the directive of the Inspector-General of Police to disarm and recover prohibited firearms and ammunition in possession of unauthorised persons or groups.
While inaugurating the task force, the Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello, advised residents of the territory to take advantage of the 21-day ultimatum to submit all illegal arms and ammunition to the nearest Police division or the Command Headquarters.
He said after the expiration of the 21-day on March 15, the command would commence mop-up operation which would include raids, cordon-and-search of premises or buildings or hideouts.
“Suffice it to add that any individual or group of persons found in possession of any prohibited firearms during the exercise will be arrested and prosecuted,“ he said.
Mr. Bello directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers to reach out to traditional rulers, community leaders and heads of vigilance groups and neighbourhood watch to seek their support and cooperation.
He called on members of the public to avail the police with information on persons in possession of firearms illegally or where such firearms are kept.
The team is saddled with the responsibility of coordinating and enforcing the directive on the mop-up, seizure and recovery of illegal and prohibited firearms in the territory.
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