Mohammed Adamu, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, has said that community security outfits and members of vigilante groups were not allowed to have weapons with them even while on duty.
“They are not to do police work because, constitutionally, they are not the police and they should not carry arms. Carrying arms will be an illegal act,” Adamu said during a Tuesday night programme on Channels Television.
Citing the constitution, the police chief stated that only one police force is recognised and that any other arrangements that deal with the prevention of crime or passing intelligence only exist to support the police.
“Where there is a need to carry arms then they should go with the police,” he suggested, adding that the illegal bearing of arms would create problems.
On Aug. 27, Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State, said southwest leaders were still having a discussion with the police and Federal Government on the use of arms by the Western Nigeria Security Network (Operation Amotekun).
He said officers of Amotekun were currently permitted to carry non-prohibited ammunition.
“There is some ammunition that is non-prohibited. But we know it can look suicidal trying to confront these criminals with non-prohibited ammunition, so we are looking at other means,” Akeredolu said.
Meanwhile, there have been several reports of Amotekun officers shooting civilians in Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria, allegedly killing about 10 people since last December.
Adamu, in his interview, added that checkpoints had been banned and that any police officer flouting the ban would be held responsible.
“What is present is stop and search but the idea of putting sticks or tyres to block the road is banned,” he explained.
He encouraged the public to report roadblocks by taking videos and sending them to the police report desk.
The IGP also said, following the End SARS protests, police officers attached to unauthorised persons had been withdrawn.
He maintained that this had been implemented to the fullest and asked that any officer seen providing security for unauthorised persons should be reported.