LAGOS – Dr Frederick Fasehun, the Founder of the O’dua Peoples Congress (OPC), on Monday said the group was not licensed to carry firearms.
Fasehun spoke against the background of allegations of random carrying of arms by some members of the group in Lagos State.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the organisation had no legal rights to carry arms.
“My members know my position on illegal arms possession. They do not carry arms near me and if they do so, it is at their own risk and not the organisation’’ Fasehun said.
He, however, said that those making allegations on arms carrying must be sure of their facts so as not to be sued for libel.
“The Police at all times must consider circumstances of allegations and evidence on ground in handling allegations of illegal carrying of arms,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that the Deputy Commandant of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Mr Emmanuel Ayirise, had also declared that the group had no license to carry or use guns.
Ayirise had emphasised that any member of the group seen carrying a gun had personally been licensed by the appropriate authority.
“We don’t use or carry guns, but in some few cases where you see a members carrying gun, he must have been licenced to do so.
“You have civilians that have licences to their guns and you also find some of these individuals in the group,’’ he said.
“The competent authority according to the Firearms Act is the Commissioner of Police in a state.
“So, whatever name any group is called, either vigilante or non- vigilante, possessing any illegal firearm is a criminal act.
Nwosu added that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Kayode Aderanti, had on assumption of office, warned anyone in illegal possession of firearms to submit it or face the law.