In order to conform with the constitutional requirements of the country, the Attorneys-General of the six South West states on Friday night put finishing touches to the required legal framework to the draft bill of Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun.
According to the details of the agreed framework, each of the South West states- Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos will have its own legislation and its own security network operatives which will bear the name Amotekun Corps.
The Attorneys-Genaral at the meeting include, Prof Oyelowo 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 state’s Director of Civil Litigation, Mr S. A Quadri.
The meeting which started around 7pm and lasted for about three hours behind closed doors at Davies Hotel, Bodija, Ibadan was also attended by the officials of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, who were led by the Director General, Mr Seye Oyeleye.
Addressing journalists after the meeting in company of the other AGs, Prof. Oyewo denied insinuations of any political meaning to the reason the meeting could not hold on Thursday as scheduled.
He said: “Logistics and the challenges of the office of Attorneys-General in the various South West states necessitated the change in the meeting day.”
Giving details of the legal framework, Oyewole noted that the bill will be sent to the various state Houses of Assemblies after it has been seen by the State Executive Councils(SEC) of the respective states.
He said the operational details and structural procedures of the security outfit will be uniform across the six states, to allow for collaboration amongst the states.
Oyewo reiterated that the security outfit will complement the existing security structure in the country. He said Amotekun would be using the local intelligence, expressing optimism that the bill will not take too long before being passed into law by the respective states.
“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 region.
“We have been able to come up with a legal framework to back the establishment of such security network in each of the states. So each of the state will have its own legislation and its own security network corp that will bear the name Amotekun Corps.
“There will be standard operational procedure that will also be in common and there will be an avenue for collaboration between the states to work together.
“It must be stated that the security network will be working in collaboration and as a complimentary network with the police and the security agencies and armed forces.
“We will be depending on our local people because of local intelligence. You can say it is community policing, vigilante but this security system under the name of Amotekun Corp has come to stay.
“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, by next week it will go to the state Houses of Assembly after it has passed through the Excos of each of the states.”
Speaking on if the operatives of Amotekun would be licenced to carry arms, ammunition and wear uniform, Oyewo said : “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.”
He continued: “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.”