Amended Act Empowers NSCDC to Prosecute Crimes, Set Up Armed Squad, Says Commandant

ABIA State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ayinla Taiye Olowo, has declared that the paramilitary outfit now has powers to prosecute suspected culprits after investigating the alleged crimes for which they are arrested.

He said the corps also now has the power to, among others things, he did not disclose set up an armed Squad to enhance its operations.

Olowo who stated this yesterday while explaining some provisions of the NSCDC Original Act of 2003 and their amendment in the 2007 Version, adding that under the Original 2003 Act, the corps had only the power to arrest and not prosecute but to handover arrested persons to the Police for prosecution.

He said that under the provisions of the amended Act 2007, the NSCDC has been empowered not only to arrest, investigate and prosecute, but also to set up an armed squad to enhance its operations.

He said civil defence organisations globally are products of disaster prevention and or responses, adding: “In the case of Nigeria, in 1967 Nigeria and Biafra Civil war, the Lagos Civil Defence Committee, which later metamorphosed into the NSCDC, it was the need to respond to the humanitarian crisis and educate the general public on how to protect themselves from bombs and air raids necessitated its establishment.”

Olowo, who disclosed that in the oil-bearing communities of Ukwa West Council, said NSCDC’s Anti-Vandal Team had been tackling vandals and operators of illegal refineries and saboteurs of the economy, adding that its Peace and Conflict Resolutions Unit had been strengthened to resolve issues among willing parties, thereby preventing conflicts from snowballing into serious crisis.

While speaking on March 1, 2022 at the World Civil Defence Day celebration in Umuahia, Olowo said the continued security challenges bedeviling Nigeria and its attendant issues such as Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West, robbery and kidnappings in the South, as well as inter-communal conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic had displaced several people.

He commended the federal government for providing temporal shelters and foods for displaced persons and refugees through the National Emergency Management, NEMA and NSCDC and urged individual volunteers and organisations to work closely with them to achieve a common goal.

-The Guardian Nigeria (Headline modified)


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