IN compliance with the directive of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, the Enugu State Police Command on Monday set-up a joint departmental task-force to mop-up illegal firearms and ammunition in the state.
Briefing newsmen on the directive, the State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Danmallam, explained that he had appointed the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, Frank Idu, to head the task-force team.
Danmallam who explained that members of the task-force would be drawn from State and Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad [SARS], Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department and mobile police units, maintained that the task-force had been mandated to ensure the successful mop-up of all illegal firearms and ammunition as well as stopping all militia groups in the state.
According to him, “We have been directed by the Inspector-General of Police to mop-up illegal arms within the state and disarm militia groups but we are happy no militia group in Enugu State. Those in possession of illegal are advised to surrender them but if they refuse, they will be prosecuted if caught. Only the President who can empower any person to own AK47 and the automatic weapon. At the State Command level, the locally made double barrel is approved for those who are qualified to possess it.
The Police Commissioner, however, urged all persons with firearms and ammunition to re-verify and re-validate them in the command within the next two weeks.
He further stressed that anyone caught with illegal firearms and ammunition without due authorization would henceforth be prosecuted according to the relevant laws of the country.
“If you have firearms and ammunition with the expired licence or not duly registered; you must re-verify and re-validate at the command now,’’ he said.
He said that the task-force enforcement would be total; as the command want members of the public to give information on people holding such illegal firearms and ammunition to the police.
“Everybody should assist the police and command on this issue; members of the public and especially journalists would do well to give us intelligence information. Enugu State has no militia group till now and the state has remained very peaceful for over two years”, he noted.