Nigerian Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has ordered the dismantling of all security roadblocks across the country, particularly on its major Lagos-Ibadan and Shagamu-Benin-Onitsha highways, with immediate effect.
According to sources, the order was given to necessitate the ease of doing business, safeguarding of lives and assurance of free movement of across the nation.
The order also affected Okene-Abuja, Kaduna-Kano, Katsina – Kano, Otukpo – Enugu, Enugu – Port Harcourt expressways, according to a statement on Monday night by the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood.
The directives, he added was necessary to enable ease of doing business in Nigeria, safeguard, and guarantee free passage of goods and travellers throughout the country.
“To this end, no police department, section, squad or unit should mount roadblock without the express permission of the Inspector-General of Police,” Moshood stated.
He stated that Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of Zonal Commands, Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands and Heads of Departments, must ensure that every patrol vehicle in their respective formation has a conspicuous and legible inscription of patrol vehicle identification number, and dedicated emergency phone numbers for identification and report of distress by members of the public.
He added that the AIG in charge of border patrol was specifically directed to ensure compliance with the directive along the border routes, except the few approved points by the Federal Government.
Moshood said, “Furthermore, police personnel involved in vehicular patrol on highways and major roads across the country must wear their uniforms with a bold name tag and service number.
The Special X-Squad teams of the Force have been deployed throughout the country, they are under strict instructions to arrest, investigate and discipline any police personnel violating this directive.”
The statement further said that the IG had also directed the Special X-Squads to embark on the removal of other forms of illegal blockage and obstructions on highways and roads created by illegal revenue collectors, road transport unions, labour and trade associations.
“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 Roadblock in any part of the Federation for the purposes of collecting any Tax or Levy,” it stated.
The Force advised the state and local government revenue as well as trade unions that it is against the law to restrict members of the public from the free use of roads anywhere in the country.