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IGP Orders Removal Of Roadblocks, Extortion On Highways

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris has ordered the arrest of illegal tax and revenue collectors as well as labour and trade union members impeding vehicular movement on roads and highways.

IGP made the order in a statement issued Sunday in Abuja by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood.

The special team to enforce the order, the statement indicated was under strict instruction to arrest, investigate and prosecute any person or group found culpable of the offence.

Henceforth, the IGP declared it was 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 boss restated that for the avoidance of doubt, the Taxes and Levies Act, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 section 2 (2) disallowed 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.

Against this background, IGP reminded the state and local governments, Boards of Internal Revenue Service, transport unions, labour and traders’ associations that it was against the law for any organization to restrict or restrain members of the public from the free usage of roads and highways anywhere in the country.

Mr. Idris complained that the Force had received numerous complaints at police stations across the country that the illegal road blocks points were in most cases used by armed robbers and kidnappers to lay ambush for innocent travellers and other road users.

As parts of measure to avoid being caught by law, the Force called on stakeholders to prevail on their proxies, agents and representatives to desist from blocking the highways and roads, adding that any erring person would be fully dealt with according to the law.

IGP added that the suspects and their sponsors would be prosecuted.

The Police boss also urged parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards, so as to be prevented from being used to commit crimes in the name of securing employment for them.

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