The Nigeria Police Force has revealed that it has arrested 288 armed robbery suspects, 187 kidnap suspects, 198 homicide suspects, 59 suspects for possession of prohibited firearms, 168 suspects involved in cases of rape, defilement, and other sexual offences, 265 suspected cultists, and 1891 other suspects for various crimes within the past five weeks.
Also, a total of 127 firearms of different calibres, 612 assorted ammunition, and 89 stolen vehicles were recovered by the police nationwide, while 71 kidnapped victims were rescued unhurt and subsequently reunited with their families and loved ones within the same period.
The police also recovered a total number of 89 stolen vehicles in the last five weeks, while it recorded a total registration of 1,244 vehicles through the Central Motor System, out of which 234 were found to have been reported stolen on the platform. The police high command further noted that the swift response of the CMR desk officers in conjunction with field operatives also led to the recovery of 46 stolen vehicles so far out of the total 89 vehicles recovered.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, made the development known on Thursday during a meeting with strategic police managers – Deputy Inspector Generals of Police, Assistant Inspector Generals of Police, and Commissioners of Police at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
He noted that the past five weeks have been a period of good and bad for the Nigeria Police, adding that in spite of pockets of ugly incidences recorded in some parts of the country, Nigeria is presently witnessing a steady decline in the general crime rate when compared with the previous figures.
“The combined efforts of our officers, the support from the government, the cooperation and assistance received from state governments, and members of the public have been integral to the achievements. I need to restate that the Nigeria Police Force, under my watch, will continue to adopt and embrace modern policing strategies, and an all-inclusive paradigm shift to tackle the various dimensions of crimes and criminality in Nigeria,” Egbetokun said.
He also noted that the internal security situation of the country, over the last month or thereabout, has been relatively calm despite the threats of political and socio-economic instability that greeted the removal of fuel subsidy and post-election tribunals across the country, adding that, comparatively, the country recorded a lesser number of violent crimes and other major offences across the country compared to the past.
Egbetokun said, “In the past five weeks, our committed officers have demonstrated relentless determination in upholding law and order. Through meticulously planned and well-coordinated operations driven by actionable intelligence, the Nigeria Police Force has effectively disrupted multiple infamous criminal syndicates involved in organised crimes, leading to arrest of 288 armed robbery suspects, 187 kidnap suspects, 198 homicide suspects, 59 suspects for possession of prohibited firearms, 168 suspects involved in cases of rape, defilement and other sexual offences, 265 suspected cultists, and 1891 suspects for various crimes.
“A total of 127 firearms of different calibres, 612 assorted ammunition, and 89 stolen vehicles were recovered nationwide while 71 kidnapped victims were rescued unhurt and subsequently reunited with their families and loved ones within the same period of five weeks.
“In order to tackle all forms of arms-related cases in the country, we have set up an ad hoc committee tasked with the comprehensive review of firearms licensing and regulations in line with the Firearms Act and other extant laws, in the interest of public safety and general security.
“The committee’s mandate will encompass a thorough assessment of current firearms licensing procedures and regulations, with the aim of enhancing their effectiveness, transparency, and accountability. This will be done in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to ensure a holistic and well-informed review.”
He further warned individuals who are involved in wrongful possession of firearms, while urging them to deposit such weapons at the nearest police stations, adding that it’ll attract no sanction.
“On this note, all individuals involved in the wrongful possession of arms and light weapons are hereby warned to submit such illegally possessed weapons to police at the police stations nearest to them. This will attract no sanction.
“All State Commissioners of Police and supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of Zonal Commands, as well as Tactical Commanders are by this announcement mandated to immediately commence a total clampdown on the illegal fabrication, sales, possession, and use of prohibited firearms in the country.
“All Nigerians are hereby urged to report all suspicious firearms-related activities to their local police stations. They can also report through the various NPF social media platforms for prompt response and action,”
Speaking about the Special Intervention Squad, Egbetokun noted that in furtherance of his administration’s resolve to ensure that all forms of violent crimes in Nigeria are adequately prepared for, identified, and tackled, and in line with his earlier directive for the establishment of a 40,000-strong SIS, a team of 25 trainers and instructors from various police colleges and training schools have been carefully selected to embark on a specialised training abroad.
He also noted that the Central Motor Registry which was recently automated and rolled out has revolutionised police response to the challenge of stolen vehicles in the country.
Egbetokun said, “The mission is to give them relevant training in the Special Intervention Squad program, an initiative aimed at equipping our personnel with advanced skills and techniques for handling complex security challenges across the country.
“Recognising the importance of cutting-edge technology in modern law enforcement, we have made significant investments in upgrading our infrastructure and digital capabilities and these are yielding positive results.
“The Central Motor Registry which was recently automated and rolled out have revolutionised police response to the challenge of stolen vehicles in the country. The platform affords Nigerians the opportunity to register their vehicles online which improves the chance of recovering such vehicles in the event that they get stolen.
“In the period under review, the CMR platform has witnessed a total registration of 1,244 vehicles, out of which 234 were found to have been reported stolen on the platform. The swift response of the CMR desk officers in conjunction with field operatives led to the recovery of 46 stolen vehicles so far.
“This number is included in the total number of 89 stolen vehicles recovered in the last five weeks. Efforts are still ongoing to recover more with the hope of recovering all. We hereby encourage members of the public to access the platform at cmris.npf.gov.ng and register their vehicles for optimum security and safety.”