Monday, 10 February 2020 05:51

Southwest govs to apply for gun licence for Amotekun operatives

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There were indications on Sunday that South-West state executive councils would on Wednesday discuss the bills on Amotekun corps.

It was gathered that a security network agency would be established in each state to oversee the Amotekun corps.

Ondo State Attorney General, Mr Kola Olawoye, said after the passage of the bill, each state would apply to Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, for a gun licence for the Amotekun corps.

South-West governors, had at a summit organised by the Development Agenda for Western Agenda on January 9 agreed to set up Operation Amotekun to address killings and kidnapping in the zone.

Federal Government initially said the security outfit was illegal, but during a meeting in Abuja attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Southwest governors and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, both FG and the governors agreed that the Southwest states should give a legal backing to the security outfit.

S’West state excos get Amotekun bill on Wednesday

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State, Mr Wale Fapohunda, in an interview with our correspondent, confirmed that the bill for a law establishing Amotekun corps  provided for the establishment of a security network agency to oversee the operations of the corps.

Fapohunda, who said the Amotekun bill for Ekiti State was ready, stated  that the state  Governor, Mr Kayode Fayemi, had directed that it should be presented to the state executive council on Wednesday.

He  said, “We have drafted a bill that is concise and comprises only the most necessary provisions. Community policing is an important component of the proposed Ekiti State Amotekun Law.

“The key features of the Ekiti State Amotekun Law include the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network Agency that will oversee the operations of Ekiti State Amotekun Corps.”

He said the bill also provided for “the establishment of an independent Amotekun Corps Complaints Board to expeditiously inquire into and report any matter regarding the conducts of Amotekun corps, specifically as it relates to abuse of power including corruption and human rights violation.”

Explaining functions of the Ekiti State Security Network Agency, Fapohunda said besides overseeing Amotekun corps, it would “collaborate with and assist the police and other security agencies in maintaining law and order.”

He added that it would make available to the police and other security agencies  relevant information on crime and  crime-related activities, suspicious activities and suspects.

The AG added that the agency would undertake “routine day and night patrols on major roads, remote areas, hinterland, forests and inland waterways.”

According to Fapohunda, it will ensure that offenders are identified, arrested, registered and promptly handed over to the nearest police station or post.

He also listed the functions of the agency to include  “disarming unauthorised persons in possession of arms and other dangerous weapons.”

Fapohunda added that it would also render prompt assistance to crime and accident victims as well as undertake joint operations with the police and other security agencies.

On his part, Ondo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawoye on Sunday, the proposed law was given  to the state Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Saturday, after the Friday meeting of the AGs.

He said, “We harmonised the bill and we gave a copy of the bill to the governor yesterday (Saturday). It will be presented to the state executive council where it will be deliberated upon after which it will be sent to the House of Assembly.”

On the time it would be sent to the legislature, Olawoye said the speaker of the Assembly would get the bill after its approval.

He also explained that the security outfit would be called  Ondo State Security Network Agency “but it would be driven by Amotekun corps. It will be replicated in other South-West states.”

S’West states to apply for Amotekun gun licence from IG

Olawoye also said each state would apply to Inspector General of Polic for a gun licence for the Amotekun corps.

It would be recalled that the police warned Amotekun operatives against carrying  firearms.

They said Oodua Peoples Congress members and hunters working as Amotekun operatives could only carry Dane guns, which do not use cartridges.

But Oyo State Attorney General, Mr Oyelowo Oyewo, who briefed journalists after the AGs’ meeting in Ibadan on Friday, said, “Carrying of arms is legalised by the law and Amotekun outfit will comply with all the laws of the land.”

Olawoye said, “A section of the bill stipulates that the Amotekun corps will be carrying arms licensed by Inspector General of Police, in line with the Police Act. Each state will apply for the licence. After the law has been made, we will apply to the IG for the licence for the corps. Each state will have a corps commander, who will be in charge of administration, operational guidelines and other things.

“The agency will have a governing board. The commander will  be a member of the board. The commander must be a person of proven integrity, who will be a retired military or police officer of 10 years cognate experience. This is how it will be in other five states. The corps commanders of the states will be meeting if the need be. I am sure the individual state should be able to pass the law before the end of the month.”

 

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