The Nigeria Police Force has issued a stern warning, deeming it a criminal offense for vehicle owners and drivers to obscure their number plates without a valid reason.
This was revealed in a post on X (formerly Twitter) by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, emphasizing the necessity of keeping registration numbers visible at all times, citing the prevalent practice of covering plates for no justifiable cause as both wrong and illegal.
Adejobi stressed the importance of proper vehicle registration and highlighted that covering number plates serves as a catalyst for recklessness and crimes committed with impunity.
He said, “It is a common thing to see many vehicle owners and drivers to cover their number plates, for no reason, this is wrong and even criminal.
“You don’t cover your number plate for any reason. It is as important and compulsory for all vehicles to be duly registered, so it’s compulsory to make reg. numbers visible at all times.”
He outlined specific exceptions for “pennant officers” and the heads of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government, who are allowed to use pennants or flags on their official vehicles. However, these officials must remove the pennants after 6 pm or when they are not present in the vehicle, ensuring their numbers are visible.
“The seal of their offices or ranks (for military or police) go with their numbers and pennants. Once its 6pm, the pennant must go down and their numbers covered, or when they are not in the car while the drivers move their cars.
“The flags must be covered with the reg number or their seal of office on their cars. This impunity must stop in Nigeria, and we need to know the right thing to do. Our officers and men and other traffic management agencies are aware of this and hereby urged to go after any violator, as such is criminal. It encourages recklessness and crimes with impunity. Let’s collectively kick against it,” he said.
Adejobi urged law enforcement agencies to actively pursue violators, emphasizing the collective responsibility to oppose such practices detrimental to road safety and law enforcement efforts.