ATTORNEY Generals from the South West States have agreed on the legal framework to guide activities of Operation Amotekun, otherwise known as the South West Security Network.
Resolution from the meeting says each participating states should develop their respective legislations including the mode of operation, while the security outfit would go by the name – Amotekun Corps.
The three hours meeting which held in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, Friday night had in attendance Prof. Oyewole Oyewo (Oyo), Mr Oluwafemi Akande (Osun), Mr Olawale Fapohunda (Ekiti), Mr Adekola Olawole (Ondo), Mr Akingbolahan Adeniran (Ogun) and Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (Lagos) who was represented by the Director of Civil Litigation, Mr S. A Quadri.
Seye Oyeleye, Director-General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission and his officials were as well present, according to report by the Nation.
Oyewo, however, explained that the bills empowering the security network would be dispatched to each State Assembly of the six participating states, after inputs from the State Executive Councils.
He said the content of the bills are similar in terms of operational details and structural procedures to enable easy coordination and integration.
“The meeting of the Attorneys-General of the six south-west states just concluded and we deliberated on the plan to evolve a collaborative security network/agency in the south-west.
“We have been able to come up with a legal framework to back up such establishment of security network in each of the states. So, each of the states will have its own legislation and its own security network corp that will bear the name Amotekun Corps.
“There will be a standard operating procedure that will also be in common and there will be an avenue for collaboration between the states to work together,” the Oyo attorney-general stated.
But he was quick to add that Amotekun Corps would work closely with the Nigerian Police, the military and other security bodies in the country, providing support services.
According to him, intelligence gathering would be solely sourced from the locals at the grassroots insisting that the ‘security system under the name of Amotekun Corp has come to stay’.
It could be recalled that the regional security outfit is a product of governors from the south-west region as part of measures to check insecurity in the region.
The Federal Government, also subsequently revived its community policing initiative which is to run under the direct supervision of the Police.
The Attorney-General, however, expressed optimism the bill would get speedy attention from the respective State Assemblies.
“The draft bills will proceed to the state houses of assembly of each of the states and will be signed into law by the governors of each state. That is where we are now.
“Today is Friday (meeting day), by next week it will go to the state houses of assembly after it has passed through the Excos of each of the states.”
Amotekun Corps will bear arms
On the bearing of arms, Oyewo explained that based on the proposed law sent to the states, the Corps would carry weapons.
He said they would also be in uniform, adding that the states do not necessarily require the permission of Abubarkar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation to determine the issue of arms.
His words: “Yes, of course, the carrying of arms is legislated by law and the Amotekun outfit will comply with all the laws of the land. We have an operational manual that will also be passed as part of the legal framework for each of the states.
“We just want to allay the fears of anybody that has fears that this is just part of the ways to impact the security architecture in Nigeria, to protect lives and properties.
“We have been emphasising Section 14 of the Constitution imposes a duty, a primary duty, on the federal, state and local governments to secure lives and properties and that is exactly what the states here present are doing.”
“We run a federal system, as long as laws are passed within the competence of our legislation, we don’t need the permission, authority or even the counsel of anybody other than the operators set under the constitution.
“As I have stated and I reiterate, the law is to establish a security network with Amotekun corps and that is what will be presented to the state houses of assembly and that will probably be passed into law,” he added.