Details of the operational guideline of the Southwest security outfit, Operation Amotekun, has emerged.
According to the draft bill for the security outfit which is before state legislatures, a governing board with sweeping powers will oversee the security outfit in each of the states.
But the day-to-day activity will be run by the Amotekun corps commander, to be appointed by the governor.
It is a uniform bill that will be passed by each of the six states of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti legislatures.
The Operation Amotekun in each of the states will operate as separate entities unlike the planned regional structure.
However, they will collaborate with one another, sharing intelligence and meeting quarterly or as decided, to secure the region.
A section of the bill states that the commander “will hold meeting with the counterpart in other states in the region on a quarterly basis or as may be collectively determined by the corps commander in those states.
The bill adds that the functions of the security agency include collaborating with and assisting the Police and other security network agencies in gathering information about crime and maintaining law and order.
It shall also have powers of arrest and prosecution of persons suspected or involved in kidnapping, terrorism, cattle rustling, cultism, highway robbery and other criminal activities.
Its day and night patrol will cover all major roads, remote areas, hinterland, forests and inland waterways in the region.
The Amotekun Corps shall have the power to bear licensed arms subject to the approval of the inspector general of Police.
The bill also states that Operation Amotekun shall have power to identify, arrest and register offenders, but such suspects must be “promptly handed over to the nearest police station or post.”
They will also be empowered to disarm unauthorised persons in possession of arms and other dangerous weapons.
Section 19 of the bill stated that all Nigerians with integrity, irrespective of their ethnic group, are eligible to join Amotekun, provided they are without criminal record and are endorsed by local authorities.
The bill also provides for the establishment of an Independent Corps Compliants Board comprised of three members, including a chairman who should be a retired judge or magistrate.
The board shall have power to investigate complaints against the operations of the security outfit.
The funding of the security outfit shall be through subvention from the state governments, gifts and donations from individuals and corporate bodies and any other money or property, which may in any way became payable to or vested in the agency.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, said yesterday.
“The gist of the bill is that it establishes a security network agency with a board and in Section 3 of it, it specifically allows for the contiguous states within the Southwest to collaborate with each other.
So, this bill is to enable the Southwest governors to deliver on their constitutional responsibilities under Section 4 of the 1999 constitutional that imposes the obligation for the protection of lives and property, not only on the federal government but for the state and local government.
“So, we have a situation where these network is established to complement the police and security agencies in the light of the insecurity incidence, not only in the Southwest, but all over Nigeria.
It must be noted that the primary obligation for policing in the constitution is vested in the Nigeria Police, but there are also constitutional obligations imposed on the state and government at the local level to ensure security or lives and property and this is what is taking place. It is a complementary Security network outfit.
“The laws allow for collaborations between the sonal and state commanders of each state. For instance, Oyo State Commander can collaborate with the Osun State Commander and of course, that can also extend to all the six Southwest states, if there is a common threat that arises within the zone.
On arms bearing, the Commissioner for Justice said: “There is a provision in the Amotekun law that is in compliance with the extant laws in Nigeria to bear arms and that is the seeking the President’s permit. So, you can’t bear arms without permit.”
Credit: The Nation