By Tunde Ajaja
On account of the prevailing insecurity in the country, the police say they will soon reintroduce permits for vehicles with tinted glass across the country.
They noted that the crimes being perpetrated using tinted glass, especially by young people, were no longer acceptable.
The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed this to our correspondent during an interview on Wednesday, said some states had also complained to the police that people were using such vehicles to commit crimes.
He, however, stressed that the committee set up by the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, would soon conclude its work and submit its report, after which the decision would be taken.
Adejobi had on March 20, 2022, announced the decision of the police authorities under the former IG, Usman Baba, to suspend the issuance of tinted permits.
He, however, noted that the police were still free to stop and search any vehicle with tinted glass, but that they had been directed not to demand for the permit.
He tweeted, “No policeman should demand your Customs papers, except they are on joint operation, but not just on mere routine checks. We have suspended the issuance of tinted glass permits, so we don’t expect our men to disturb Nigerians on this. We are to stop any vehicle with tints, search the vehicles, and its occupants, but not to delay (anyone) for not having tinted glass permits.”
Many Nigerians had heaved a sigh of relief after the permit was suspended, given the usual harassment from policemen. However, according to Adejobi, the permit would soon be re-introduced to further check crime across the country.
He stated, “The Inspector-General of Police has set up a committee to review it. We are going back to it because it is a matter of law. There is no way we will neglect such a thing. Many youths have started using tinted glass to commit crimes and various states are complaining. So, we need to look into it and make a decision.
“When the committee submits its report, we are going to act appropriately.”
Asked when the committee would likely submit its report, he said, “I don’t know if the committee has a timeframe to work with, but because of the change in the leadership of the department; the former chairman of the committee is one of the retired Deputy Inspectors-General of Police but a new one is coming now.
“However, I don’t know if the new one will continue to lead the committee. The IG will determine the chairmanship of the committee and expect them to submit the report.”
He also spoke on the issues of covered number plates, revolving lights and unregistered vehicles or those who use vehicle logos in front instead of number plates, saying the committee would come up with a lasting approach to address the issues.
Successive Inspectors-General of Police, usually in their first few days in office, warned against the use of covered number plates and the withdrawal of police escort from private individuals. But the instructions were soon flouted and enforcement relaxed shortly after.
Speaking on these, Adejobi stated, “The issue of covered number plates is also part of the committee’s work. The committee will come up with so many things. We are talking about illegal use of revolving lights, covered number plates, unregistered vehicles, driving unregistered vehicles, and some use vehicle logos in front and number plates at the back. These are not allowed in Nigeria.
“We are looking into these things and when the time comes we will make policy statements on them and checkmate these excesses.”
On the recurring issue of police escort for VIPs, the Force PRO said while the IG was against the deployment of policemen to unqualified persons, some persons were entitled to police protection by law.
He added, “For the special intervention squad, there is no way we won’t have to mop up men from various angles. People who are not entitled to police escort will lose the men to the squad. Some are statutorily entitled to it according to the provisions of the law based on their office but you know that there are some that ordinarily one will wonder how they got a police escort. So, we want to regularise the way we deploy our men.”
He said the police were working with private security companies, adding that they were also not allowed to give protection to all individuals who approached them.