Amotekun: Army, Airforce, Navy, Police, others on security agency’s board
The composition of the proposed board for the regional security network for the south west region, Amotekun, will have the representatives of the Army, the Navy and the Airforce, according to a draft bill put together by the respective state governments to give legal backing to the security network.
The board will also have the six states’ Commissioners of Police, and the states’ Commandants of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as board members.
Amotekun has as its main functions to gather information and share intelligence about crime, crime in progress, suspicious activities, criminal suspects and other criminal activities.
Section 6 of the bill, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, provides for the establishment and composition of the Ekiti State Security Network Agency Governing Board.
Although the copy of the bill is adapted for Ekiti State, it is in harmony with the bills adopted by all the states in the south west region.
“There is established for the Agency a Governing Board (referred to in this Law as the ‘Board’),” section reads.
“The Board shall comprise: (a) a Chairman, who shall be a person of proven integrity with experience in security matters and shall be a retired Law Enforcement or Military Officer not below the rank of a Major or its equivalent in the other Security Services; (b) The Commissioner of Police in the State or his/her representative; (c) One member representing the different services of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating in the State; (d) The State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in the State or his/her representative; (e) The Executive Secretary, Ekiti State Security Trust Fund or his/her representative; (f) One representative each of the Community Development Association drawn from the three Senatorial zones the State; (g) The Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers or his representative; (h) The Ekiti State Amotekun Corps Commander.”
The board shall have the powers to set the general policy guidelines for the management of the Agency; the administrative guidelines for the conditions and welfare of staff of the Agency; make recommendations to the Governor on the terms and conditions of employment and remuneration of staff of the Agency.
It will also be responsible for approving programmes of training for members of the Agency for effectiveness and efficiency in the performance of their functions under this Law; provide a graded command structure for the Amotekun Corps; design and approve the uniform of the different grades of the Amotekun Corps; and appoint suitable persons as members of the State Amotekun Corps.
“A person appointed as a member of the Board shall hold office on part-time basis for four (4) years and be eligible for re-appointment for one further term of four (4) years,” the bill also stated.
The bill also provides for the funding of the corps through subventions from the state governments as well as donations.
Amotekun Corps is also designed to bear arms under the supervision and approval of the Inspector General of Police.
According to Section 18(1) of the bill, Amotekun Corps “shall, subject to the approval of the Inspector General of Police have the power to bear licensed arms in the performance of its duties and as may be incidental to the operation of its objectives under this Law.”
The corps will also have the power to collaborate with and assist the Police and other Security Network Agencies in gathering information about crime, crime investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons suspected or involved in kidnapping, terrorism, cattle rustling, cultism, highway robbery and other criminal activities.
It will also be required to disarm unauthorised persons with arms and dangerous weapons and assist crime and accident victims.
Section 5(2) categorically states that “The Agency shall in the course of carrying out its duties, safeguard the human rights of every person as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and other relevant human rights instruments.”
To ensure that its personnel are people of credible character, the bill provides that besides applying for enlisting in the corps, such persons would receive confirmation from the Divisional Police Officer in his Local Government Area of residence that he/she is of proven character and integrity and has no criminal records.
Such persons would also need to be endorsed by the chairman of his/her Local Government Area of residence or the traditional ruler of the community where such a person resides.
The bill is expected to be considered by the state assemblies of the six states of the south west and passed into law before the end of the week.
Meanwhile, all the governors of the states have received copies of the draft bill and are in the process of forwarding it to the legislature for consideration and passage.