- AGs to consider draft bill today
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti and Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Despite the regional efforts by the South-west states to draft a bill for the establishment a joint security outfit, Operation Amotekun, the issue of remuneration of the operatives of the outfit and the number of those to be recruited will not be handled jointly but at the discretion of the individual states.
This is coming as the six Attorneys General of the South-west states will meet in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, today to review the draft bill on Amotekun.
Speaking yesterday on the matter, the Osun State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode said the funding would be based on the capacity of individual states as there will be no joint funding.
According to her, each state will fund its own Amotekun outfit.
Also speaking on the issue of the salaries of the operatives, Egbemode disclosed that each state will pay according to its capacity.
On whether they would carry arms or not, Egbemode contended that the operatives would be involved in intelligent gathering, which would enhance their performance.
Also speaking on the issue of minimum salary of each operative, the commissioner said the issue was still under discussions.
She said the law would be domiciled in each state of the South -west.
Also speaking on the draft bill, the Ekiti State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice , Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, said the bill will be presented at the meeting today.
According to him, the draft bill for the law establishing Amotekun proposed for the establishment of Public Complaints Authority and Security Trust Fund to be contained in the law that will drive the Western Nigerian Security Network.
The bill, he said, proposed that Ekiti State is one of the components states, which is prepared to pay the operatives from the Ekiti State Security Trust Fund.
He said the fund was established by Governor Kayode Fayemi in 2019.
Fapohunda, who said the proposed bill would not stipulate how much would be paid to Amotekun operatives, said, “It will only state how the governments will fund them. It can’t say how much now”.
“All of us will still have to sit down to discuss how much will be paid them. The proposal only specifies how the government will fund them, where the money will come from.
“A lot of us have the Security Trust Fund – Lagos and Ekiti states have the trust fund, I think Oyo State now has it. For Ekiti State, they will be funded from the Security Trust Fund”.
Fapohunda added that the bill provides that the primary organisational goal of Amotekun must be to work cooperatively with individual citizens, communities, public and private organisations, as well as formal and informal security agencies to identify and resolve security issues, which potentially affect communities.
“The proposed law must have citizens’ complaints provisions, including a framework for an independent Ombudsman with strong authority to receive complaints from the public on matters of corruption and abuse of power. It also demanded that there must be sustainable funding provisions in the law and provisions on modalities for collaboration, including sharing information, resources and expertise between the six states,” he explained.
However, the bill did not make proposal for carrying of firearms by the operatives.