Uyai-Abasi Etido

The Commander General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN, Navy Captain Umar Bakori (rtd), has debunked rumour that his men were amongst groups banned from possessing and using weapons by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Security Committee.

According to him, the arms used by their personnel are duly registered and cleared by their supervising agency which is the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

He also stated that the VGN is responsible for the security of public schools within the FCT and cannot discharge such herculean task without arms.

Recall that the FCT Security Committee, had last week introduced a Code of Conduct for vigilance groups operating in the territory, placing a ban on the use of firearms by their members.

In the new Code of Conduct, the Security Committee also prohibited them from carrying out operations without the presence of the police or the express approval of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), in their respective jurisdictions.

But the Director, of Information and Communication in the FCT, Muhammad Hazat Sule in a statement said, members of the vigilance groups are permitted to possess and use weapons for self-defence or other lawful purposes as allowed by the DPO.

These were some of the decisions reached by the FCT Security Committee at its 11th meeting presided over by the Minister, Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, held in Gwarinpa I District, Abuja.

He said, the new approved code required that any member of the group, who recovers a hazardous weapon from a criminal suspect is expected to keep a detailed account and report to the police for further investigation.

“The Committee permitted the vigilante group to make arrests of anyone, who violates the laws of the land as allowed under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015”.