By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba has ordered the immediate suspension of tinted vehicle permits and issuance of SPY number plates across the country.
The police boss was said to have taken the decision to avert further worsening of insecurity in the land.
Baba, who spoke at a meeting with senior police officers, including Deputy Inspector Generals of Police (DIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) from across the states, said some mischievous persons had capitalised on the licence to commit heinous crimes.
He reiterated that roadblocks remained banned, warning that heads of commands must enforce it and key into the road patrol strategy as an alternative to roadblocks.
Promising to end insecurity across the country, Baba said: “I have also received reports of the abuses associated with the use of SPY number plates and tinted glasses. For the avoidance of doubts, SPY number plates are for official use of some categories of corporate bodies, while tainted glass permits are issued under some statutory regulations.
“Unfortunately, several individuals have of late turned the use of SPY number plates and tinted glasses into a status symbol and have fraudulently obtained such. There have also been reports that some criminal elements are also utilising them as cover for their nefarious activities.
“Accordingly, henceforth, the issuance of SPY number plates and tinted glass permits is hereby suspended. The existing authorisations are being reviewed and a protocol to regulate the issuance of such permits will be evolved.
“In due course, an enforcement mechanism that will enforce the standardised process of issuance of SPY plate numbers and tainted glasses will be implemented across the country. The Nigeria Police will work closely with the leadership of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in this regard.
“An emerging trend in which some motorists cover their number plates has also been noticed across the country. This practice inhibits our law enforcement operations and, hence, is intolerable. Consequently, commissioners of police are tasked, as part of their operations, to arrest any motorist involved in this act.
“The compliance to this directive shall be confirmed in the course of my ongoing tours to your commands and any departmental head, zonal commander, commissioner of police or unit head that is found wanting will be dealt with.”
The IGP also said the police arrested 686 high profile suspects in two months during various operations across the country.
He said: “Between April and May 2021, a total of 686 high-profile suspects have been arrested during various police operations across the country. The suspects comprise mainly bandits, kidnappers, and armed robbers. They also include the principal suspects involved in the attack of Governor Samuel Ortom on March 20, 2021.
“Similarly, a total of 152 kidnapped victims, including the students kidnapped at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna, have also been safely rescued by the police during this period.”