The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim K. Idris, has ordered the immediate dismantling of all illegal roadblocks erected by revenue collection agents, transport and trade union members as well as unapproved task forces around the country.
The order, which takes effect on Monday, was announced in a statement (Ref. No.CZ:5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/) issued on Sunday by Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer.
To give teeth to the order, said the statement, the IGP has deployed Special X-Squad Teams of the Police Force across the country to commence the removal of all forms of illegal inhibitors to vehicular movement across the country.
The Special X-Squad Teams deployed are under strict instructions to also arrest, investigate and prosecute any person or group of persons found committing this illegal act.
It is 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 the collection of revenue/tax or enforcement of the interests of such organizations.
– Police statement
The Force also drew attention to Section 2(2) of the Taxes and Levies Act 2004, which bars any person, including a tax authority from mounting a roadblock for the purpose of collecting tax or levy in any part of the country.
It added that it has been receiving numerous complaints at police stations across the country that the illegal roadblocks are usually taken over and used by armed robbers and kidnappers.
Thus, the Police advised state and local government councils, state internal revenue boards, transport, and trade unions to desist from mounting roadblocks, as such constitutes a breach of the law.