The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Sunday said it intercepted and taken into custody three men suspected to be arms peddlers at Mfum, a community along Nigeria-Cameroon border.
Mfum is a commercial border town in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State. It is a town where people engage in international transit trade with vehicles conveying commodities ranging from food items, petroleum products and more across the border into the Republic of Cameroon.
Ndubuisi Eneregbu, the comptroller in charge of Mfum Border Command, disclosed this in a statement released in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State.
According to the comptroller, three suspects: two Nigerians and one irregular Cameroonian migrant, who confessed to being a member of the Ambazonia separatist group, were intercepted on a motorcycle with arms and live ammunition.
Eneregbu stated that “the suspects were found with among other things, a small bag containing incriminating items such as one barrater pistol, one locally made pistol, three live ammunition, charms and one TECNO BC3 Android phone.
“According to them, they were four but the fourth person, currently at large, left them with the bag containing the incriminating items. Preliminary investigations revealed that one of the suspects, the Cameroonian, is a member of the Ambazonia separatist group in the Republic of Cameroon.
“The three suspects along with the incriminating items have been handed over to the Divisional Police Officer Etung Division, Etung Local Government Area for further investigation,” he said.
On efforts made since the assumption of office to curtail illegal activities within border communities, the comptroller stated that the command initiated regular stakeholder meetings with traditional rulers of all border communities under his command to enhance synergy and engender trust.
“We have a cordial relationship with the border communities. We have had series of stakeholder meetings with the border communities and other security agencies. When I came on board this command, my team and I paid courtesy visits to all the traditional institutions within the communities under our command.
“We did that because we understand the need for synergy between security agencies and the communities. No security agency can tackle insecurity without the support of the community as a whole,” he stated.
He indicated that despite certain logistical challenges, the officers and men were prepared to tackle anyone found sabotaging the economy of the country.
“Even though there are some logistical challenges when patrolling the borders, we have our men stationed at strategic areas and established checkpoints, so that if any miscreant evades the checkpoints and decides to utilise the flanks, such elements would be intercepted by our men at the flanks,” the comptroller said.