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UNLICENSED EXPLOSIVE IMPORTERS: ANTI-BOMB POLICE ADVOCATE STIFFER PENALTY

By NBF News

The Commissioner of Police in charge of Police Anti-Bomb Command Mr. Chris Olakpe, has advocated for a stiffer punishment for those who import explosive products and radioactive substances without valid permits.

The Commissioner made the call during the inauguration ceremony of Police Explosive Community Relations Committee (PECRC) at his office in Ikeja, Lagos. He described the act of importing explosives and radioactive materials without valid permit as worrisome and unhealthy for the image of the country.

He said although, the products were always detected by the command, but lamented that the act was not only illegal but that desperadoes were still finding their ways to bring in the forbidden products.

He said the commands' mission was to provide public safety by eradicating criminal use of explosives and allied materials, including improvised explosive devices, radioactive materials and reducing the hazards caused by improper or unsafe storage and transportation of those all-important but dangerous products.

He called on all Nigerians to assist the command in the war against criminality, 'as the eradication of terrorism by denying societal miscreants and criminals access to explosives and radioactive materials is a shared responsibility between the government and its agencies on the one hand and the explosive manufacturers, importers and end users on the other hand.'

He revealed that it was on the above premise that the command called for the inauguration of the PECRC. 'This initiative is intended to create a forum where stakeholders in explosive and radioactive industry could come together quarterly and brainstorm on issues of mutual interest, information sharing and areas of assistance to the command in particular and the entire police force in general.

He said the command's headquarters was originally built as a depot for police arms and ammunition.

According to him, when approval was given for the establishment of Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) in 1976, the arms racks scattered in and around the building were removed and the building which was then headed by a Superintendent of Police, is now being headed by a Commissioner of Police.

He cited certain constraints confronting the command, stating that the task to expand and renovate the building should not be left for the government alone, hence the inauguration of PECRC.

Mr. Olakpe called on well-spirited Nigerians and corporate organisations to assist the unit in the expansion and renovation of the building.