Oyo Assembly begins Amotekun bill consideration Thursday

•Plans state security summit to address cultism, rape, violence, killings

The Oyo State House of Assembly will on Thursday begin consideration of the legal framework backing the establishment of the Western Nigerian Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun.

This followed approval of the state executive council for onward transmission of the bill to the state Assembly at Tuesday’s council meeting.

State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo who confirmed the transmission of the bill, in an interaction with journalists at governor’s office, Ibadan, expressed optimism that South West Houses of Assembly will pass into law the Amotekun bill by next week.

The Oyo State Security Network Agency bill when passed into law will see the establishment of the Oyo state Amotekun corps headed by a Commander.

Alongside the establishment of an agency will be the setting up of an Amotekun Corps Complaints board where complaints about the excess of the corps, in relation to human rights abuses, can be lodged.

On the bearing of firearms, Oyelowo said the Amotekun corps will adhere to extant laws, including the Firearms Act and Prohibition law, that arms can only be borne with a permit.

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“There is a law on the bearing of arms, there is a provision in the Amotekun laws that is in compliance with the extant law in Nigeria to bear arms, that is seeking the President’s permit. You can’t bear arms without a permit.

“Beyond arms, there is other security equipment that you don’t need such rigorous process to bear but when it comes to bearing of firearms, the firearms act and prohibition law make guidelines and this will be complied with in seeking the necessary permission.

“And this is not the first time, for example, the extant law in Ogun state relating to neighbourhood watch has provisions forbearing of arms. There are even other bodies like Joint Task Force, Hisbah in the North East that are bearing arms. So, the case of Amotekun is not a peculiar one,” Oyelowo said.

Meanwhile, worried about the prevalence of cultism, killings, violence, rape among other crimes and criminality in the state, the Oyo House of Assembly is set to stage a security summit.

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin identified the expediency of hosting the security summit while giving his conclusive remarks on a matter of urgent public importance, committee report and motion bordering on security in the state.

Ogundoyin noted that the security summit aimed at improving community policing will see traditional rulers, community development associations, landlord associations among others, render inputs on contending security challenges facing the state.

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He noted that the recommendations of the security summit will be linked to the establishment of the Oyo State Security Network Agency.

“South-South has been having issues with Niger Delta, the whole North has been having issues with people crossing borders causing mayhem within the country. So, the House will organise security summit to have the input of stakeholders with a view to having acceptable legislation that will improve community security management.

“We mandate the security committee to work on modalities to host a security summit/public hearing that will encompass the anti-grazing law, the role of traditional rulers in the sustenance of grassroots security, and most especially link it to the Amotekun bill that we will be working on very soon.

“With all these, we will be able to curb the insecurity within our society but all that cannot be complete if we do not prevent rather than cure. We will also look at how Amotekun can be a one-stop solution to our security challenges,” Ogundoyin said.

Earlier, Honourable Babajide Adebayo representing Ibadan North 11 constituency, had in a matter of urgent public importance, decried the spate of rivalries among cult groups that had led to killings in parts of Ibadan, the state capital.

As a result of cult violence, he decried growing tension and insecurity among residents of Agbowo, Sango, Mokola, Oke Itunu, Ibadan Polytechnic area, Agbaje among others.

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Babajide consequently tasked security agencies, the joint task force tagged “Operation Burst” and Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security to intensify efforts towards combating activities of cultists in flashpoints of the state.

Similarly, Honourable Wumi Oladeji of Ogbomoso North constituency, in motion on the need to checkmate the prevalence of rape, urged the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion to ensure the operation of the family court to address the needs of victim-survivors.

The motion also noted the need for the Ministry of Health and Hospital Management Board to ensure that victims-survivors of rape are given all-inclusive free medical attention and adequate counseling services.

Contributing to the motion, Honourable Oluwafowokanmi Oluwafemi representing Ibadan southwest II constituency stressed the need for the state Ministry of Women Affairs to extend its offices across zones of the state and increase sensitization against rape using the media.

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