The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Ondo State has arrested four men for allegedly operating as guards in an illegal private security outfit.
The state commandant of NSCDC, Mr Pedro Awili, made the disclosure while parading the suspects before newsmen on Tuesday in Akure.
According to Awili, the suspects were apprehended in Ondo town by operatives of the command who carried out a raid on a popular hotel.
“On July 27 at about 4:30 pm and working on a tip-off by a licensed private company, our men swooped on Labin Hotel and Event Centre in Ondo town where the suspects work as illegal security guards.
“We arrested the four men wearing bulletproof vests and being in possession of handcuffs and canisters of teargas without being duly registered as operators of private guard companies in the state.
“Up till now, we have not been able to ascertain the authority they have to carry out the services of professional security guards in a public place,” he said.
Awili explained that the command’s action was in line with the directive of the Minister of Interior and Commander General of NSCDC to monitor and supervise the activities of private guard companies across the country.
According to him, illegal operators of security companies have formed the habit of equipping themselves with equipment such as tear-gas, handcuffs and uniforms of security operatives while some also carry dangerous weapons.
“These attitudes and behaviour of those operating illegally in the state have negated the Private guard Act as amended in the NSCDC Act 2007,’’ he said.
He warned private security companies which operate illegally in the state to desist or face the full wrath of the law.
Awili also vowed to prosecute any company or individual found guilty according to the law.
“We are not only going to prosecute them as illegal private companies but also prosecute their staff as well for operating illegally.
“We are also going to pick them up for impersonation which carries a stronger penalty,” he said.