PDP accuses Amotekun of extra-judicial killings in Ondo

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), also known as Amotekun Corps of extra-judicial killings in Ondo State.

In a statement released on Wednesday, May 17, the Ondo State chapter of the PDP called on the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to take action and rein in the operatives of the Corps.

The statement signed by Ondo PDP spokesperson, Kennedy Peretei, was titled titled ‘Akeredolu needs to call Amotekun to order’.


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The Ondo State PDP highlighted recent killings allegedly perpetrated by Amotekun operatives in that state, including the killing of two individuals, one of whom was a teenager.

The party expressed disappointment with the conduct of Amotekun operatives, accusing the Corps of veering away from their professional ethics.

“In the last two weeks, the excesses of the Ondo State Security Network, popularly known as Amotekun, has drawn tears from the eyes of several families in Ondo State,” the statement said.

“In the month of May alone, Amotekun has been responsible for the death of two persons – a final year Economics student of Federal University of Technology Akure and a 14-year-old boy who the stepmother handed over to Amotekun for ‘more punishment’ for allegedly stealing N500.”

The party noted that hopes that the Amotekun Corps would effectively tackle the menace of herdsmen and kidnappers in the state have been dashed.

It described the killings by the security outfit as devastating, with grieving families seeking help and justice.

The PDP called for an urgent and impartial investigation into the incidents, and stressed the need for an independent body to conduct the investigation to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

The party equally demanded accountability for those responsible for the loss of life, stressing the need for a fair legal process and appropriate disciplinary measures.

The statement also spoke of the need for training programs for Amotekun members, focusing on de-escalation techniques, human rights, and community engagement.

It called for improved transparency and accountability mechanisms within Amotekun, including robust systems for monitoring and reporting incidents of misconduct, as well as accessible channels for the public to voice concerns and file complaints.

The PDP stressed the importance of a security force that upholds principles of justice, respects human rights, and operates with the highest level of professionalism, warning that allowing Amotekun to continue acting outside the law would only lead to further resistance from the people.

It urged the state government not to let the tears of the victims’ families dry without obtaining justice.

The PDP stressed that indiscipline, recklessness, and lawlessness should not be tolerated in any society.

“The initial excitement and hope that Amotekun corps will be an effective check on herdsmen and kidnappers rampaging the forests and streets of Ondo State have paled into frustration and misery. This series of killings by a security outfit of government, maintained with public funds is to say least, is very devastating. The families of the deceased are crying for help and calling for justice. Only God knows if help will ever come their way.

“The government must ensure that this investigation is carried out by an independent body, free from any potential conflicts of interests.

“The people deserve a security force that upholds the principles of justice, respects human rights, and operates with the highest level of professionalism .We cannot allow Amotekun to continue to take laws into their hands and expect that the people will not resist them. It is only a matter of time,” the statement added.

Established in 2020 by governors of the South-West states to combat growing insecurity in the region, the Corps have been accused by various stakeholders, including the Amnesty International, of human rights abuses.

In 2022, the Corps killed 21-year-old Tosin Thomas in Makola area Ibadan, Oyo State.

Confirming Tosin’s death, the state police spokesperson, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the deceased was killed by a stray bullet from a member of the Corps.

“A report was received from one Alamu Timothy at Makola Police station today 14/01/202 and alleged that one Tosin Thomas ‘M’ 21 YRS of Ode Olo area Ibadan, while going home at Total Filing station Makola Ibadan on 13/01/2021 at about 1130 HRS, was hit by bullets from gun fired by Amotekun operatives.

“He was rushed to University College Hospital (UCH) for immediate medical attention and thereafter was confirmed dead by medical personnel,” the police spokesperson had said.

The Commandant of Amotekun in the state, Olayanju Olayinka, also confirmed the incident.






     

     

    Olayinka, however, said the operative who shot the deceased was dismissed and handed over to the police.

    In December 2020, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) accused members of Amotekun deployed in Oyo town of killing a 400-level student of the University of Ibadan, Akolade Gbadebo.

    Also, on January 3, 2021, a member of the Corps, Ibrahim Ogundele, allegedly shot and wounded Fatai Yekini, a police officer attached to the Ojongbodu Police Station as Special Police Constabulary. Yekini was reportedly asked to join the security outfit on a joint operation that day in the Isale-Oyo area of Oyo.

    On January 8, 2021, three Fulani residents of Oyo State were allegedly killed by the Amotekun Corps in the Okebi, Tapa area of Ibarapa Central Local Government Area of the state.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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