The police have recovered no less than 3,250 illegal firearms various from vigilance groups, and private individuals across the country within six weeks.
This followed a directive on February 21, 2018, by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, ordering holders of illegally acquired firearms to surrender them to the force or face prosecution. The Force Public Relations Office, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Moshood, disclosed this to newsmen at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Monday, while displaying the firearms recovered by the Joint Task Force set up to mop up the weapons.
Based on the high level of compliance, the police spokesman said that the IG has further extended the ultimatum for the voluntary submission of the illegal arms to April 30, to enable those who had yet to give up their arms to do so.
Giving a breakdown of the recoveries, Moshood explained that Abia State Police Command recorded the highest number with 1, 380 firearms, followed by Lagos State with 200 categories of assorted weapons.
Others are, Katsina, 198; Rivers, 140; Federal Capital Teritory, 78; Kaduna, 70; Kogi, 57; Borno, 32; Taraba, 56; Benue, 46; Nasarawa, 36: Adamawa, 14 and Delta, 12.
The Joint Task Force at the Force headquarters, he said, recovered 435 categories of weapons, including, 114 AK47 rifles, 17 English pistols, 27 pump action guns and 28 single barrel guns.
Also recovered were 8 SMG rifles, Mark IV rifles, 8 locally made pistols, 38 Dane guns,and 28 revolvers.
The ACP stressed that the police embarked on the arms mop in order to secure lives and properties of Nigerians, noting that the rate of violent crimes like robbery, kidnapping and cattle rustling had reduced since the exercise began.
He said, “The IGP is very impressed with the rate people are responding and turning in the arms, this made him to further extend the ultimatum to the end of this month.
“After this last extension, the police will arrest anyone still in possession of such illegal weapons and he will be make to face the law; We would not arrest or detain anybody coming to turn in such firearms.”
The force spokesman said the recovered arms would be handed over to the police armament unit for proper records and investigation “to check whether such weapons had been used for criminal activities in the past.”