The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the immediate dismantling of illegal road blocks mounted by unauthorized bodies across the country.
Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said via a statement in Abuja that the IGP has ordered Special X-Squad Teams to commence the removal of all such illegal blockage and other obstructions on public highways and roads.
Moshood stated that such road blocks are usually created by unlawful Revenue/Tax collectors including Road Transport Unions as well as Labour and Trade related unions, and they inhibit vehicular movement and smooth passage of passengers and goods.
“The Special X-Squad Teams deployed are under strict instructions to also arrest, investigate and prosecute any person or group of persons found committing this illegal act,” the statement read in part.
“It is unlawful and contrary to the laws for any individual, or group under any name to take laws into their hands and block any Road or Highway in full or any part of it under the guise of collection of Revenue/Tax or enforcement of the interests of such organisations.”
The Police spokesman noted that sections of the Taxes and Levies act 2004 prohibits any person, including a Tax Authority from mounting a Road block in any part of the Federation for the purposes of collecting any Tax or Levy.
“Consequently, the Nigeria Police Force hereby advised the relevant State Governments, Local Government Councils, Boards of Internal Revenue service across the Country, various Transport Unions, Labour and Traders Associations that it is against the law for any organization to create a blockage and restrict or restrain members of the public the free usage of Roads and Highways anywhere in the country,” Jimoh stated.
He also said that numerous complaints at Police Stations across the country indicate that the illegal road blocks were “most times taken over and used by Armed Robbers and Kidnappers to rob, kidnap and maim innocent travelers and other road users.”
The Police Force implored the affected stakeholders to prevail on their members to desist from blocking roads across the country, “as the full weight of the law will be applied on anyone arrested in the act, and they will be prosecuted along with their sponsors.”
Moshood reassured Nigerians of the Police’s commitment to guarantee adequate security and safety of every citizen and ensure a crime-free society.