Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Police Force Headquarters Joint Task Team has recovered a total of 425 illegal firearms in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The task force headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police Joshak Habilla recovered the arms at various raids and stop-and search-operations carried out by personnel.
Weapons recovered include 2 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), 114 AK-47 rifles, eight Sub-Machine Gun (SMGs) and 301 other assorted guns.
Force Public Relations Officer Moshood Jimoh, who made this known while parading the firearms at the Force Headquarters, said that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has extended the ultimatum to turn in illegal firearms to April 30, owing to the impressive turn out of the voluntary surrender of illegal firearms.
The Inspector General had initially given a 21-day ultimatum which began on February 22 and elapsed on March 14, for members of the public to surrender illegal firearms in their possession.
Jimoh said: “The Police Joint Task Enforcement Team, in compliance with IGP’s directives and working on actionable intelligence, swung into action and embarked on mop-up, seizure and recovery of all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from wrong hands, suspected militias, militants, criminal/unlawful gangs through search, raid and seizure from identified premises, hideouts, dwelling houses, buildings and sites where these illegal/prohibited firearms were kept, based on reasonable suspicion and intelligence, and recovered 425 prohibited firearms and ammunition.
“This operation, which is still ongoing among other purposes, is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act, mopping-up and recovery of all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons and will enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with the herders and farmers clashes, kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, militancy and terrorism.”