Amotekun Operatives To be Given Power to Arrest Criminals

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SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 27 – Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti states are leading the drafting of model bills on the South-West security outfit, Operation Amotekun

The Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda, who gave this indication in an interview with Nigerian newspaper, Punch on Sunday, also said operatives of Amotekun, would have the power to arrest suspected criminals.

Fapohunda said this just as indications emerged on Sunday that the South-West attorneys general would on February 6 meet to harmonise positions of different states on the proposed Operation Amotekun bills.

The Federal Government and the South-West governors had, at a meeting in Abuja on Thursday, resolved their differences on Operation Amotekun, which was launched in Ibadan on January 9 to address killings and kidnapping in the zone.

The meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, was attended by the South-West governors and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, who declared Operation Amotekun illegal on January 14.

At the meeting, both sides agreed that each of the South-West states should make a law to back Operation Amotekun.

As a follow-up to the agreement reached in Abuja, the attorneys general of the South-West states met in Ibadan on Thursday to begin the process of making Amotekun laws in their states.

Shedding light on the proposed Amotekun bill, Fapohunda, in the interview, stated, We ultimately want to create a security outfit that is accountable and responsible to the people of each of the states involved so that they can have faith in the outfit. We have sights on a law that has focus on the people’s lives.

The legal framework being drafted by the attorneys general will contain the mandate of Amotekun. The mandate is very crucial and that will be clearly stated; then the administrative structure, particularly as it relates to the issue of accountability and their power particularly as it relates to that of arrest.

“Power of arrest is not new. All our non-conventional forces have the power of arrest. What is important is that when they arrest, what happens to those that they arrest? The way Amotekun will work is that if they see a crime that is being committed, they will have to inform the national security forces like the police, where that is not possible, they can arrest and hand over such a person to the security agencies.”

Fapohunda, who said Amotekun across the different state commands would be working in collaboration, said the law would also spell out the relations among Amotekun in the six South-West states.

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