Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Attorney-Generals and Commissioners for Justice in the six states of Nigeria’s South-West have concluded work on the draft bills for the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) that will be known in each of the six states as ‘Amotekun Corps’.
Each of the Attorney-Generals is expected to present the draft bill to their respective state executive councils for approval this week, after which the documents would be sent to each of the six Houses of Assembly in the region so that the draft bills could be passed and subsequently signed into law by each of the six state governors.
The six legal luminaries made this known after a meeting they held at Davies Hotel, Old Bodija, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The closed-door meeting was said to have started at about 7 pm on Friday and lasted for about three hours.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo, a former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), hosted his colleagues.
Present at the meeting were the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Osun State, Akande Oluwafemi, and his counterparts from Ondo (Kola Olawoye, SAN), Ogun (Akingbolahan Adeniran), and Ekiti (Olawale Fapohunda). The Attorney-General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) represented at the meeting by the Director of Civil Litigations, Mr Adebisi Quadri.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, the Attorney-General of Oyo State, Oyewo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said: “The meeting of the Attorney-Generals of the six South-West states just concluded and we deliberated on the plan to evolve a collaborative security network or 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. It must be stated that the security network will be working in collaboration and as a complementary 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 Corps 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.”
Oyewo also allayed the “fear of anybody that has fears that this is just part of the ways to impact the security architecture in Nigeria, to protect lives and property. We have been emphasising Section 14 of the Constitution, which imposes a duty, a primary duty, on the federal, state and local governments to secure lives and property and that is exactly what the states here present are doing.”
He noted that Nigeria runs a federal system of government, and 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.
“I don’t know about Operation Amotekun, what I know is Amotekun Corps. As I have stated and 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.”