The Police Command in Benue on Monday said it would arrest all persons in possession of prohibited firearms in the state.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Catherine Anene, and made available to News Agency of Nigeira (NAN) in Makurdi on Monday.
NAN reports that illegal possession of firearms contravenes the provision of Firearms Act LFN CAP. F28, 2004.
NAN further reports that part II (3) of the Act stipulates that no person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm of one of the categories specified in part 1 of the schedule, except in accordance with a licence granted by the President acting in his discretion.
Anene quoted the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mukaddas Garba, as ordering all commanding and supervising officers of the command to ensure that all possessors of illegal arms were sanctioned.
The statement further stated that the order was in compliance with the earlier directive of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, on the increased proliferation of prohibited firearms across the country.
“In compliance with the IGPs directive, the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Police Command, Mukaddas Garba, has ordered all commanding and supervisory officers of the command to make this directive a subject of lecture to civil groups, vigilante, quasi state and regional security outfits within their area of responsibility
“They are also to ensure that activities of these groups are in conformity with the extant laws guiding their establishment and operations.
“Heads of Departments and Divisional Police Officers are directed to identify, disarm, arrest and prosecute individuals and groups involved in this illegal act.
“The general public is by this notice warned that possessing prohibited firearms without requisite legal approval of the president remains an illegal act and a major threat to National Security, for which the individual or group concerned could be criminally liable,” the release added.