SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 23 – The federal government and governors of states in the south-west have reached the agreement to draw up a legal framework for the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named: Amotekun.
Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, disclosed this to state house correspondents at the end of a meeting Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had with the six governors from the region on Thursday.
Akeredolu said the legal framework will help resolve all “burning issues” surrounding the security network.
Asked if the governors failed to draw up the legal framework for the outfit before the launch on January 9, Akeredolu said the inspector-general of police and other “relevant security agencies” were duly consulted.
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, who had described the outfit as illegal, was part of the meeting.
Malami, who had earlier faced criticisms for opposing Amotekun, said he was misunderstood.
Malami made a U-turn on his anti-Amotekun stance while responding to a question during a chat on Radio Nigeria Abuja on Thursday morning where he explained:
“I was misinterpreted on Operation Amotekun, I did not say it’s Illegal”.
“I said the Operation Amotekun should be properly back by law, so if at the end of this Government, if the Operation has been backed by law, any Government that eventually succeeded this government will not rubbish the Operation”.
“I said if they failed to enact a law in support of Amotekun in the South West Region of Nigeria, another government can come and say it’s Illegal and this is because it is not backed up by any law,” he said.
Later, after the meeting with the state governors, the Attorney General said:
“So, It is just an advice to the state governors to use their power and the State Houses of Assembly in their various states to enact a law that will make the Operation more effective.”
“Well we had a very fruitful discussion. Governors of south-west, as you know, we were all there. The meeting was presided over by the Vice President. The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was there as well as the Inspector General of Police,” he said.
“So, we have rubbed minds and all of us have agreed on the way forward. The most important one is that we are going to have legal framework to back this Amotekun. And this legal framework is going to be one which we all are going to look at and will be sure to go without any hindrance.”
Responding to a question on if establishment of the outfit had been put on hold until the legal framework is developed, he said: “No. What I believe is our resolution is that Amotekan is there, you know the federal government is starting community policing, in essence really is about community. So, we are going to work together to see the community policing and Amotekan work in a way.
“We felt that with all these noise outside it is better for us to sit down. Remember that immediately the noise started, I said that we are going to explore political solution and all of us are here, my colleague the deputy governor of Oyo who is of the PDP, all of us are here. So we have looked at this solution to it now, both political and legal solutions to it and all of us will do it.”
He said there was no time that the federal government tried to stop Amotekun.