Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigeria Police Thursday commenced a nationwide operation to halt and rid the country of illegal and unlawful security outfits constituting national security threat and threat to the protection of life and property of Nigerians across the country.
The Force Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said: “Credible intelligence reports at the disposal of the Force revealed that some of these illegal security outfits have started recruiting unsuspecting youths and other members of the public and conducting employment interview and illegal training for them in different locations across the country.
“It is evident that in 2013, Federal Republic of Nigeria official Gazette dissolved and proscribed illegal security outfits such as Nigerian Maritime Security Agency (NMSA), Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps and the Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Security and Safety and other quasi illegal security outfits such as United African States (UAS) and Land Marine Police Force whose operations and activities are contrary to the constitution of the country and other enabling laws.
“It has been observed also that NMSA, Maritime Security Agency and National Task Force to Combat Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms and Ammunition, Light and Chemical/Weapons are still operating outside their mandates and purposes for which they were registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission.”
Moshood explained that the “parade of nine suspects responsible for operating illegal organisation and security outfits known as United African States (UAS) with an affiliate security outfit known as Land Marine Police Force. This illegal security outfit is being operated by an acclaimed Executive President of the organisation.
“The organisationâ€™s office is located at No. 6 Ubiaja Crescent Garki II, Abuja and has been in operation for about one year now before it was closed down by the Police. Before Police intervention, complaints were received from over 150 unemployed persons of extortion of N5,000 each from them by the organisation under false pretence of employing them which were discovered to be fake.”
He added that “following reliable intelligence gathered and sustained surveillance, a raid was carried out on the office complex of the organization on February 20, 2018.
“The suspects have been interrogated and have made useful statements and confessed to being members of the Organization. Investigation has also uncovered the existence of their outfit in other States, namely Zamfara, Enugu, Yobe, Delta, Abuja, Niger, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Nasarawa States.
“Preliminary investigation has also shown that both organisations are not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission or any known Government Department. Investigation is being extended to the above mentioned states to arrest the perpetrators.
“Meanwhile, all suspects will be charge to court on completion of investigation.
“Commissioners of Police and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police in States and Zonal Commands have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to halt the activities of these illegal security outfits, arrest and prosecute all suspects involved,” he added.