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IGP Egbetokun halts new gun licence, set up committee to review firearms licensing and regulations

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In a move aimed at enhancing public safety and bolstering national security, Nigeria’s Acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has announced the establishment of an ad hoc committee tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of firearms licensing and regulations enforced by the Nigeria Police Force.

During a press briefing on Monday, Egbetokun outlined the committee’s mandate, emphasizing its commitment to a thorough evaluation of existing firearms licensing procedures and regulations. The primary objective of this review is to improve the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of the country’s firearm licensing framework.

In a statement issued by the Force Headquarters, it was revealed that the police will engage extensively with relevant stakeholders throughout the review process. This engagement will encompass consultations with legal experts, civil society organizations, and specialists in the field of firearms regulation to ensure a well-informed and holistic assessment.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, conveyed these developments in an official statement released on Monday. Adejobi emphasized the Inspector-General’s determination to address all forms of insecurity in Nigeria.

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Adejobi quoted the Inspector-General as stating, “The illegal proliferation of firearms and light weapons poses a significant threat to the peace and stability of our nation. The Nigeria Police Force is resolutely determined to combat the illegal fabrication, sale, possession, and use of arms. Possessing firearms without the appropriate licenses and permits is not only a violation of the law but also a grave danger to society.”

The Inspector-General of Police also called upon all State Commissioners of Police and supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of Zonal Commands and tactical squads to initiate a robust crackdown on the illegal fabrication, sale, possession, and use of prohibited firearms across the country. He urged citizens to report any suspicious activities related to firearms promptly.

Notably, the Inspector General acknowledged the concerns surrounding the issuance of gun licenses and their potential impact on national security. While acknowledging the ban on firearm license issuance, Egbetokun suggested the possibility of a future review.

“We are mopping up arms in circulation. There are too many arms in circulation, and if we continue to issue licenses on arms, we may continue to aggravate the problems we are trying to solve,” Egbetokun stated during a meeting with members of the Police Management Team.

The Nigeria Police Force has temporarily halted the issuance of licenses for small arms due to the prevalent issue of illegal arms proliferation in the country. While the ban remains in effect for now, the police have indicated that they may reconsider it in the future as part of their ongoing efforts to maintain public safety and security.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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