In accordance with the Firearms Act and existing laws, the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has announced the formation of a special committee tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of firearms licensing and regulations within the Nigeria Police Force.
Egbetokun disclosed on Monday that the committee’s objective is to thoroughly evaluate the current procedures and regulations surrounding firearms licensing, with the goal of improving their efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
The Force Headquarters also stated that the police will actively engage with relevant stakeholders, including legal experts, civil society organizations, and field specialists, to ensure a comprehensive and well-informed review process.
According to ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer, Egbetokun has issued a stern warning against individuals involved in the unlawful possession of arms and light weapons, emphasizing the serious threat that the illegal proliferation of firearms poses to the nation’s peace and stability.
In response, the Nigeria Police Force is resolutely committed to combatting the illicit manufacturing, sale, possession, and use of firearms, underscoring that possessing firearms without the appropriate licenses and permits not only violates the law but also endangers society.
It was assured that the Nigeria Police Force will vigorously pursue and prosecute those engaged in such unlawful activities to the fullest extent of the law.
Furthermore, the Inspector General of Police has directed State Commissioners of Police, supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of Zonal Commands, and tactical squads to initiate a comprehensive crackdown on the illegal production, sale, possession, and use of prohibited firearms nationwide.
He has also urged all Nigerians to report any suspicious activities related to firearms to their local police divisions or through the various NPF social media platforms for swift action.
Notably, the Inspector General, recognizing that licensing for firearms may exacerbate insecurity, has reaffirmed the police’s ban on issuing gun licenses, with the possibility of revisiting or revising the ban in the future.
The Force Headquarters has announced that the Nigeria Police Force has ceased issuing licenses for small arms due to the significant proliferation of illegal firearms in the country.
Egbetokun made this announcement during a meeting with members of the Police Management Team, including Deputy Inspectors General of Police, Assistant Inspectors General of Police, and Commissioners of Police at the Goodluck Jonathan Peacekeeping Hall, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Egbetokun emphasized, “We are working to reduce the number of firearms in circulation.
There is an overabundance of firearms, and continuing to issue licenses for them might exacerbate the issues we are striving to resolve.”
However, he also indicated that the ban on firearms issuance might be reconsidered in the future.
“For now, there is a temporary ban on issuing firearms licenses.
We may revisit it later, but at this time, we are not issuing firearms licenses nationwide.”
It’s important to note that the Firearms Act has been the primary instrument for regulating firearms in Nigeria for several years.
The Act stipulates that no individual may possess or have control over any firearm or ammunition unless they hold a license from either the President or the Inspector General of Police.