The Commissioner of Police in Cross River State, Mr. Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, has declared the state-owned Green Police and Homeland Security outfits as illegal.
The Commissioner, who cited Section 21 of the 1999 constitution, noted that there should be no other outfit tagged police in any part of the country.
He was responding to a question concerning the operations of the new security outfit created by the state government.
This came just as there were indications on Tuesday that the Federal Government might have stopped Cross River State from operating its newly inaugurated Green Police and Homeland Security.
Governor Ben Ayade had last Friday while unveiling the cadet officers of the security outfits said the officers had been conferred with powers to enforce the state sanitation laws and policies, including the authority to arrest and issue warrants.
The state government had purchased over 50 vehicles comprising 30 Kia Rio and about 25 Isuzu pickup vans which have been mounted with amber warning lights and fitted with communication gears and sirens.
The vehicles had yet to be released to the security outfits as of Wednesday.
Responding to the question on the eligibility of the outfits, Ozi-Obeh said, “Section 21 of the 1999 constitution states that there shall be only one police force and there shall be no other one in any region of the country. The Cross River State Green Police is illegal.”
Punch learnt that the Federal Government has given directive to the state Police Command to seize any of the branded vehicles found in the streets of Calabar and other parts of the state.
A top government source said the directive was issued to the state Police Command at about 3pm on Monday with an instruction to the Commissioner of Police to carry out the order.
But the State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, said the state would operate the outfits since there were laws backing its establishment.
He said, “The Homeland Security and Green Police have been inaugurated and they are working. The state House of Assembly already passed the laws establishing the outfits.”