NBA asks IGP to stop CMRIS certificate issuance

…Says police duty is protecting citizens, not collecting monies

Nigeria Bar Association Section on Public Interest, NBA-SPIDEL, has asked the Inspector General of Police, stop the Central Motor Registry Information System, CMRIS, Certificate issuance and refund motorists that have already paid for it.

NBA-SPIDEL argued that the duty of the Nigeria Police in protecting the citizens and enforcing the law does not extend to collecting monies and/or issuing certificates to vehicle owners.

NBA-SPIDEL Chairman, John Aikpokpo-Martins, and Secretary, Funmi Adeogun, Secretary, in a letter addressed to the IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, said:

“The attention of NBA-SPIDEL has been recently drawn to reports all around the country that vehicle owners are mandated to register and obtain a CMRIS Certificate from the Nigeria Police Force for a cost of not less than N6,000.

“NBA-SPIDEL also has it on good authority that the men of the Nigeria Police have since started enforcing compliance wherein purported defaulters have been made to part with their hard-earned monies in thousands of Naira.

“In the light of these developments, the NBA-SPIDEL questions the legal propriety which enables the Nigeria Police Force to issue CMRIS Certificates to vehicle owners, particularly when it is not clearly stated in any laws (at least to our knowledge) that the Nigeria Police has any authority to issue car licenses or certificates of any nature to to vehicle owners after due registration of vehicles in the appropriate office.

“NBA-SPIDEL states further that any such certificate being issued by the Nigeria Police Force without any legal backing is outright illegal, null, and void and therefore of no consequence.

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“NBA-SPIDEL therefore uses this opportunity to reiterate the fact that the duty of the Nigeria Police in protecting the citizens and enforcing the law does not extend to collecting monies and/or issuing certificates to vehicle owners.

“Regrettably, the men of the Nigeria Police Force have since taken advantage of the ignorance of unsuspecting Nigerians by extorting large sums of money from them for failure to present the CMRIS certificate on demand during road search.

“This illegality has to stop immediately.

“onsequently, the NBA-SPIDEL states that these acts of illegality must not continue unabated and therefore unequivocally demand that the Nigeria Police immediately stop the issuance and/or demand for the CMRIS Certificate.

“NBA-SPIDEL, therefore, humbly but strongly demands that you issue a directive immediately stopping the issuance of/demand for the CMRIS certificates nationwide.

“NBA-SPIDEL further demands that the registration website and every other physical registration centres be shut down, and every money already collected from Nigerians be refunded to them within 3 days of the receipt of this notice.

“Please note that failure, neglect or refusal to comply with this lawful demand within 7 days of the receipt of this letter will compel NBA-SPIDEL to seek appropriate sanctions in court against your esteemed office and the Nigeria Police Force,” the letter added.

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