The Commissioner of Police in Imo, Abutu Yaro, on Wednesday warned criminals in possession of rifles belonging to the police in the state to return them on or before June 12 or face the law.
Mr Yaro gave the warning while interacting with newsmen in Owerri.
He warned that anyone caught with the weapons would face the full weight of the law.
Mr Yaro said that many police rifles were stolen during the October 2020 EndSARS protest, as police formations were attacked.
He attributed recent shootings and killings in the state to illegal possession of rifles, saying that bandits, in possession of rifles, had been attacking police formations.
He called on parents and all peace-loving citizens to report any child in possession of a rifle.
“Many police stations were recently burnt and rifles moved away are being used to carry out shootings and killings in the state.
”I hereby call on parents and well-meaning people of the state to report any child in their domain who is found in possession of police rifles.
“Police rifles are for police and not for any other persons,” he said.
He said that the command had resolved to deal ruthlessly with any persons caught with such arms and ammunition.
Mr Yaro promised that the police would leave no stone unturned in bringing criminals to book.