The Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun, as it was revealed at the weekend that operatives of Amotekun will be known as corps and will bear licensed firearms while working.
Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda, made the revelation while speaking on the outcome of a meeting of the Attorney Generals from the South-West zone held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday.
Fapohunda said each of the Commissioners for Justice in the zone agreed at the meeting in Ibadan to insert a clause which empowers the Amotekun Corps to carry only licensed firearms in the bill for an act backing up the initiative.
He, however, said arms bearing by Amotekun personnel would be subject to the approval of the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed.
He said a bill for a law to support the security initiative was ready, adding that the draft bill would be presented to the six Houses of Assembly in the zone, with Ekiti presenting the bill to the lawmakers on Wednesday.
The commissioner added that he and his colleagues had agreed on the broad outlines of the proposed model law to guide the operations of Amotekun in the states.
Speaking on the similarities of the Bill across the zone, Fapohunda said: “based on our histories and current realities, each of the six states has individual needs and expectations from the law.
“The model Amotekun Bill adopted by us appropriately reflects these expectations and is flexible enough to accommodate individual circumstances. We were also guided by international standards and best practices in the field of community policing.
On Ekiti’s version of the Bill, he said: “we have drafted a bill that is concise and comprises only the most necessary provisions. Community policing is an important component of this law.
According to him, key features of the bill include the establishment of the Ekiti State Security Network Agency that will oversee the operations of the state’s security corps and the arms bearing power of the Amotekun Corps while on duty, subject to approval by the Inspector General of Police.
He added that rigorous security checks for intending applicants, establishment of Amotekun Corps Complaints Board to look into complaints against the operatives are also part of the proposed bill.
Also speaking on mode of operation for the Amotekun Corps, Oyo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, said recruited personnel would be guided by existing constitutional regulations on the carrying of arms.
He stressed that the Amotekun corps would complement the existing security agencies while there would be collaboration among state corps in their operation.
He added that local intelligence would form the basis of the operational manual for the corps.
“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 corps 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 among the states.
“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.
“Carrying of arms is regulated by law and the Amotekun outfit will comply with all the laws of the land. The operation manual will accompany the bills to each of the state Houses of Assembly,” Oyelowo said.
Present at the meeting were 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), was represented at the meeting by the Director of Civil Litigation, Mr Adebisi Quadri.