…Deploys Special X-Squad Across Nigeria –
BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim K. Idris has deployed Special X-Squad teams of the Force across the country to commence the removal of all forms of illegal blockage on highways and roads.
Also affected by the IGP’s directive are all obstructions on public highways and roads created by unlawful Revenue/Tax collectors, Road Transport Unions, Labour and Trade related unions.
The move followed the worrying disruption of free-flow of vehicular movement, smooth passage of passengers and goods as well as road users across the country.
The Special X-Squad teams are under strict instructions to also arrest, investigate and prosecute any person or group of persons found committing what the IGP described as an ‘illegal act’.
A statement to this effect by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood quoted the IGP as saying: “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 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 road block in any part of the Federation for the purposes of collecting any Tax or Levy.
“Consequently, the Nigeria Police Force hereby advised the 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 organization to create a blockage and restrict or restrain members of the public the free usage of roads and highways anywhere in the country.”
The Police boss said it is evident from the numerous complaints received at Police Stations across the country that the illegal blockage points were most of the times taken over and used by armed robbers and kidnappers to rob, kidnap and maim innocent travellers and other road users.
IGP Idris implored the affected stakeholders, namely State Governments, Local Government Councils, Boards of Internal Revenue service across the Country, various Transport Unions, Labour and Traders Associations to prevail on their proxies, agents and representatives to desist forthwith from blockage of highways and roads across the country.
He vowed that the full weight of the law would be applied on anyone arrested in the act, adding that such culprits would be prosecuted along with their sponsors.
The IGP equally appealed to parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards so that they are not used to commit illegal acts under the pretence of employment.
Idris assured that the Force remain unwavering in its renewed commitment to enforce the law, guarantee adequate security and safety of every Nigerian and ensure crime free society.