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.
“Any Nigerian not licenced to carry arms and is caught with arms will be doing so at his own risks.
“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 deputy commandant, however, said the group had plans of meeting with the Federal Government to make the group a federal agency.
It will also be recalled that the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, had said that anyone carrying any firearm must be licensed by the competent authority.
“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.
“If it is not licensed by the commissioner of police of that particular state, the person will be arrested and charged for illegal possession of firearm,’’ Nwosu said.
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.
Nwosu also told NAN that the Police was collaborating with the vigilance groups to adequately police the communities.