The Houses of Assembly in the six states of the South-West of the country will next week Monday simultanously hold public hearings for the proposed bill on the Amotekun security outfit to give it legal backing.
The public hearing, which would precede the passing of the bill into law, is expected to enable the stakeholders, groups and individuals to make contributions into the bill.
The executive councils of the states had at their meetings last week approved the draft bills as presented by their various Attorneys General and Commissioners for Justice.
A statement by the chairman of the conference of speakers of the South-West, who is also the speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, said the decision to hold the public hearings was taken at a meeting of the conference held last Friday.
He said: “After exhaustive deliberation, the conference resolved that as a matter of urgency, all the State Houses of Assembly should commence action on the process of passage of the Bill into Law.
“The Conference, also in this regard, mandated that all the State Houses of Assembly should simultaneously hold public hearings on the Bill in their respective States on Monday, 24th February 2020.
“The Conference of Speakers of South West State Legislatures urges all the people of South-West to attend and make meaningful contributions to the bill that regulates protection of lives and property in our States.
“Thereafter, the Conference of Speakers will reconvene to meet with the States Attorneys-General to address all conflicting areas and to review the contents of the reports generated at the Public Hearings for harmonisation into the proposed law.”
Establishment of Amotekun was necessitated by the increasing insecurity in the southwest that was characterised by kidnappings and killings.
The governors of the region had met and resolved to set up the outfit to complement efforts of the Federal Government at providing security of lives and properties.
Although the move was initially opposed by the Federal Government, it was however later agreed that there was the need to give the establishment a legal backing before it can be operational.
Speaking on the bill, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, had said that “The Draft Bill has six Parts and 44 sections. It is also gratifying to disclose that every apprehension or fears expressed have been adequately looked into.
“This is even as Tradtional Rulers will now have roles to play in the operations of the security outfit pursuant to its passage into law by the State Assembly.”