Governor Fayemi won't have control over 'Ekiti Amotekun'
By Olamide Fadoju
One of the issues the opponents of 'Operation Amotekun' - the security outfit initially proposed by governors of the southwest - raised was that of abuse by governors.
With the bill setting up 'Amotekun' now passed and signed into law in Ekiti State, a lawmaker says the governor won't have absolute control over the outfit.
The member, representing Ekiti East 2, Honourable Lateef Akanle told Nigeria Info 99.3 FM that some items were removed from the Ekiti State Security Network Agency (also known as Ekiti Amotekun Corps) bill to make it independent.
Akanle said the part of the bill that mandates the agency to carry out directives as 'the governor may expressly give to it' was expunged.
“The agency itself is an independent agency and it is not dependent on any political party so no governor has absolute control over the activities of corps members, because we foresaw that it's an agency that could be used to achieve political gain”
He also addressed concerns raised on the probable misuse of firearms by the Amotekum Corps. Akanle said the corp members will be adequately trained and that any defaulter will be tried.
“They will be properly trained. Not forgetting the fact that the commandant will be someone that is not below the rank of Major General in the Army. This means that the commandant in charge of training the corp will be someone that is experienced in the area of security deployment and firearms usage. So they will be properly trained before they can be enlisted to be a corps member.
"The Ekiti State government complaint box that will take charge of any anomaly in the course of carrying out their duties and of course the Nigerian constitution is supreme over every activity of the corps. So in the case of violation of human rights, in the case of abuse of power, the appropriate actions will be taken against them," Akanle said.
The lawmaker denied reports that people may have already been recruited illegally into the corps.
"We do not have such in Ekiti state because of course, this is a bill that was still going through the process of becoming a law, so how can you start recruiting when it is not in existence.
"We don’t have such in Ekiti state, so until the bill is properly passed which we have done at the House of Assembly level and the governor assents to it, nobody can operate as a member of the Amotekun corps".
The Ekiti State House of Assembly passed the bill for the establishment of the State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps into law on Friday, February 14 after a series of deliberations.
The corps was first conceived as a southwest regional security outfit but was opposed by the Attorney General of the Federation who said there was no recognition of regional governments in Nigeria's constitution.
The governors of the six southwest states agreed to operate the corps as individual state outfits after a meeting last week with the Inspector General of Police.