THE Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed special squad on highways and roads throughout the country with an order to arrest revenue collectors causing obstruction on roads.
The order takes effect from today.
This was as he advised relevant state governments, local government councils, boards of internal revenue service across the country, various transport unions, labour and traders’ associations that it was against the law, henceforth, for any organisation to block or restrain members of the public from free usage of roads and highways henceforth.
In a statement made available to newsmen, the police boss said he had deployed Special X-Squad on highways and roads throughout the country to clear illegal roadblocks and obstructions as from today.
In the statement issued and signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, a copy of which was made avalibale to Nigerian Tribune, the police boss said the order was sequel to reports and complaints received at various police stations across the country that the illegal roadblocks were aiding robbers and kidnappers in their operations.
“The Special X-Squad teams are under strict instructions to also arrest, investigate and prosecute any person or group of persons found committing this illegal act.
“It is unlawful and contrary to the laws for any individual or group under any name to take laws into their hands and block any road or highway in full or any part of it under the guise of collection of revenue/tax or enforcement of the interests of such organisations.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Taxes and Levies Act, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 Section 2 (2) disallowed any person, including a tax authority, from mounting a roadblock in any part of the federation for the purposes of collecting any tax or levy.
“Consequently, the Nigeria Police hereby advises relevant state governments, local government councils, boards of internal revenue service across the country, various transport unions, labour and traders’ associations that it is against the law for any organisation to create a blockage and restrict or restrain members of the public the free usage of roads and highways anywhere in the country.
“It is evident from the numerous complaints received at police stations across the country that these illegal blockage points were, most times, taken over and used by armed robbers and kidnappers to rob, kidnap and maim innocent travellers and other road users.
“The Nigeria Police implored the affected stakeholders mentioned above to prevails on their proxies, agents and representatives to desist forthwith from the blockage of highways and roads across the country, as the full weight of the law will be applied on anyone arrested in the act and they will be prosecuted along with their sponsors.
“Parents and guidance are also enjoined to monitor their children and wards not to be used to commit illegal acts under the pretence of employment,” the statement read.