By Violet Isek
The Cross River State Police command has issued a one week ultimatum to those in possession of illegal firearms to surrender voluntarily or face the full wrath of the law.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa gave the ultimatum Wednesday in Calabar, the Cross River Capital while parading 78 suspects arrested in the period under review and warned against the proliferation of firearms.
“On the issue of unlawful proliferation of small Arms and light weapons in the hands of criminally minded elements, the Command has already inaugurated a Committee of six (6) people under the chairmanship of ACP (Assistant Commissioner of Police) Simon Udofia to mop off all illegally and unlawfully acquired firearms from unauthorized users.
“To this end, I call on all well-meaning Cross Riverians who are yet to voluntarily surrender all illegally acquired fire arms, locally manufactured or foreign to this committee must do so within the next one week or face the full wrath of the law.
“Whistleblowers are enjoined to expose anyone known to be unlawfully in possession of such firearms to this committee whose secretariat is at the State CIID headquarters or through mobile phone no. 08028311953. Meanwhile financial reward awaits any genuine information given, please,” Mr. Inuwa said adding that he was giving the financial reward due to his love for the country.
According to Mr. Inuwa, the command has been able to “mop up 324 firearms of different categories” from criminal elements across the state.
The Cross River State government had announced the “Hafiz Law” which seeks to reward whistle blowers especially in kidnap and armed robbery cases.
And, Mr. Inuwa who reiterated the command’s commitment to achieving a near zero crime rate across the state and called on the public to always inform the Police on time to enable it carry out timely investigation and save lives.
He averred that: “I want to reiterate that part of the command’s challenge in dealing with criminal elements may not be unconnected with people’s reluctance to give information as to the whereabouts of these cultists and criminals. It is on this note that I crave the indulgence of the general public that information is key to solving security issues in any society. As security is everybody’s business.
“In our determined efforts to address security issues in our dear state, the Command has embarked on serious advocacy against cultism in our schools and places of worships with a view to sensitize our vulnerable children to shun away from it.”
While parading the suspects at the State Police Command Headquarters, Mr. Inuwa disclosed that their offences ranged from armed robbery to murder, cultism, defilement, impersonation and unlawful possession of live ammunition.
He also said that 8 firearms were recovered directly from the criminals under investigation, which when added to the 324 recovered by the committee on illegal firearm recovery, totals 332.
“I want to inform members of the general public that in our quest to mop up arms from those who illegally acquired these items, apart from the 8 that have been recovered from the criminals under investigation, the command was able to mob up 324 arms of different categories some of them were English made and majority of course locally made so that is to tell you the extent to which the command is going in addressing security issues within Cross River and we are not going to relent to make sure that we continue with this mob up exercise,” He said.