The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has deployed Special X-Squad Teams of the Force across the country to commence with effect from today, the removal of all forms of illegal blockage and other obstructions on the highways and roads created by unlawful revenue/tax collectors, road transport unions, labour and trade related unions inhibiting vehicular movement and smooth passage of passengers and goods, and other road users across the country.
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.
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,” a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Jimoh Moshood, said.
Idris said the Taxes and Levies Act, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 Section 2 (2) disallows 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.
He 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 organisation to create a blockage and restrict or restrain members of the public the free usage of roads and highways anywhere in the country.
The IG said it was evident from the numerous complaints received at police stations across the country that these illegal blockage points were most times taken over and used by armed robbers and kidnappers to rob, kidnap and maim innocent travellers and other road users.
He implored the affected stakeholders to prevails on their proxies, agents and representatives to desist forthwith the blockage of highways and roads across the country, as the full weight of the law would be applied on anyone arrested in the act, and they would be prosecuted along with their sponsors.
He also enjoined parents and guidance to monitor their children and wards not to be used to commit illegal acts under the pretence of employment.
The IG stated that the renewed commitment of the Force to continue to enforce the law, guarantee adequate security and safety of every Nigerian and ensure crime-free society remains unwavering.