The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, has reiterated the Command’s stance on bearing of firearms by vigilante members, insisting that no group is allowed to carry whatever form of firearms.
The Police Commissioner also ordered the immediate arrest of anybody or group of persons who are not permitted to bear arms.
It was reported that some Vigilante group members in Port Harcourt, particularly in Diobu axis, were seen bearing arms and detaining suspects.
Some were seen at Oando filling station at Mile 3, Ikwerre road, displaying pump action riffle while others bear arms on patrol in the public.
Reacting to the claims in some quarters that vigilante groups are permitted to carry guns, Effiong, who spoke through the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said the vigilantes were not licensed to carry arms.
Iringe-Koko, in a short message to newsmen, said the CP has given a stern warning to the local security outfits not to carry arms.
She said vigilantes had no power to arrest people and keep them in detention.
And based on that, she said the CP has directed all Divisional Police Officers to arrest any vigilante member seen with arms within their jurisdiction.
“Vigilante members are not licensed to bear arms. The CP has directed DPOs to arrest anyone seen with arms within their jurisdiction. Also, they do not have powers to detain or keep anyone in custody,” she said.