The Lagos State House of Assembly has finally backed the South-west security outfit, Amotekun, and has fixed a public hearing on the outfit for February 24, 2020.
Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, subsequently committed the bill to the Assembly Committee on Information, Publicity, Security and Strategy for public hearing during plenary thursday.
The committee, headed by Hon. Tunde Braimoh, was directed to report back to the Assembly as soon as possible.
The Assembly Clerk, Mr. Azeez Sanni, had informed the Assembly that he received a letter from the state Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Moyosore Onigbanjo, last Wednesday on the amendment of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC).
Sanni was subsequently ordered to read the bill entitled: ‘House of Assembly Bill No. 5 Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) Amendment Bill 2020 and for Connected Purposes’ for the first and second times.
The Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1), said the bill is an executive one, but that it is predicated on the private member bill that established LNSC, which he said has been working well.
Agunbiade added that the bill is incorporating the concept of a more dynamic and more strengthened security platform than what they had.
“It is meant to energise and strengthen the security that we have in Lagos State based on the challenges in the state and in the entire South-west region.
“It tries to create a unit out of the LNSC to be referred to as Amotekun Corps to take charge of security in certain areas such as in the forest, highway and other places to protect us against hoodlums, cattle rustlers among other criminals.
“It will have a commander and Amotekun Corps would bear arms with the permission of the police. They will cooperate with other security units in Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti and Osun States,” he said.
The majority leader stressed that LNSC has a clause that will provide for Amotekun.
In his contribution, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), while supporting the bill, commended the foresight of the Lagos State House of Assembly on the security of the state.
Ogundimu stated that the law covers wider areas and made internal security a priority.
He called for local content in the bill, adding that they need people with native intelligence, and that whoever would be appointed as the head of the unit should be approved by the Assembly.
Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa 2), on his own, stated that there was a problem of nomenclature in the bill.
Jimoh stated that the Nigerian Police had been existing before Independence and that the people had been talking about their reforms.
“The colonialists formed the Nigerian Police in 1930, and we have not made efforts to form our own security force.
“The population of men of the Nigerian Police is small, therefore, we should encourage men of Amotekun to be armed and able to arrest and prosecute criminals,” he said.