In accordance with the Firearms Act and other applicable legislation, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has announced the creation of an ad hoc committee tasked with conducting a thorough investigation of the Nigeria Police Force’s licencing and rules for firearms.
Egbetokun disclosed on Monday that the committee’s mandate will include a complete evaluation of the current laws and regulations governing the licencing of firearms with a view to strengthening their effectiveness, openness, and accountability.
The Force Headquarters further stated that in order to ensure a thorough and well-informed review, the police will consult with pertinent parties, including legal professionals, civil society organisations, and subject-matter experts.
ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the force’s public relations officer, revealed in a Monday official correspondence.
“In addition, the IG has issued a stern warning to all individuals involved in the wrongful possession of arms and light weapons, reiterating that illegal proliferation of firearms and light weapons poses a significant threat to the peace and stability of our nation,” Adejobi said, furthering his zeal to combat all forms of insecurity in the country.
In light of this, the Nigeria Police Force is steadfastly committed to combating the unlawful manufacture, sale, possession, and use of weapons, emphasising that doing so poses a serious risk to society in addition to breaking the law. He pledged that the Nigeria Police Force will use all available resources to find and prosecute individuals involved in these unlawful activities.
“The Inspector General of Police has charged all State Commissioners of Police and supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of Zonal Commands, and tactical squads to commence a total clampdown on the illegal fabrication, sale, possession, and use of prohibited firearms in the country. He equally urged all Nigerians to report suspicious activities related to firearms to their local police divisions or via the various NPF social media platforms for prompt response.”
It was gathered that the IG reiterated the police’s restriction on the issuing of gun licences while adding that the police may reconsider or reverse the ban in the future. The IG noted that granting gun licences might worsen national insecurity.
The NPF ceased issuing licences for small guns because of the high incidence of illegal arms proliferation in the nation, according to a statement from the Force Headquarters.
During his (IG’s) meeting with the Police Management Team, which included Deputy Inspectors General of Police, Assistant Inspectors General of Police, and Police Commissioners, at the Goodluck Jonathan Peacekeeping Hall, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Egbetokun revealed in response to a question from our correspondent.
“We are collecting circulating arms. There are too many weapons in use, and if we continue to grant permits for them, we risk making the issues we are attempting to address worse, according to Egbetokun.
He said, though, that the police might later revisit the prohibition.
“For the time being, the distribution of firearms is prohibited. But, we are not currently giving licences for the possession of firearms across the country.
The Firearm Act, according to The PUNCH, has been in charge of regulating firearms in Nigeria for the previous years.
According to the Act, no one is permitted to own or control a firearm or ammunition unless they have a licence from the President or the Inspector General of Police.