Insecurity: FCT Police Warn against Unauthorised Use of Drones
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Police Command yesterday warned residents against unauthorised use of unmanned aerial vehicles otherwise known as drones in the territory.
A statement issued by the command said any such use of drones without clearance from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and obtaining approval from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) becomes an offence.
It said the warning followed public outcry over sighting of drones hovering around personal and government-restricted air spaces contrary to extant laws and thereby creating fear and apprehension in the minds of residents.
“The attention of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has been drawn to the indiscriminate and illegal use of personal and commercial drones in the FCT. Information at the disposal of the Command as well as public outcry on the sighting of drones hovering personal and government-restricted air-spaces contrary to extant laws, thereby creating fear and apprehension in the minds of residents.
“Consequent upon the above, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, CP Babaji Sunday has directed the immediate enforcement of drone usage regulations, arrest of violators, and the confiscation of such drones.
“In the light of the above, it is pertinent to state that flying drones in the FCT requires meeting certain qualifications, obtaining certifications, as demanded by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and Obtaining approval from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) as the case may be without which it becomes an offense to at any time and any day be found flying one”, it said.
The CP, while calling for calm, noted that investigations carried out had shown that the small and lightweight drones sighted constituted zero imminent security threat as they are flown by individuals for leisure or commercial purposes.
“However, to help the police effectively police the air-spaces, it is important to in addition to the above notify the police of the usage of the drone in every instance, especially for commercial purposes”, it said.
The CP, while tasking DPOs and other departments of the command to carry out the enforcement, urged residents to be law-abiding and exercise calm bearing in mind the assurance of the command’s unalloyed commitment to bringing crime and criminality to its barest minimum.
“While the police continue to take proactive security measures, residents are urged to remain vigilant, and report any suspicious or abnormal occurrences to the police,” it said.