Four Southwest states join Ekiti assembly to pass Amotekun bill

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By Our correspondents

At least four other southwest states on Tuesday joined Ekiti assembly to pass the Amotekun bill into law, Nigerian NewsDirect can report.

Ekiti state on February 14 passed the bill for the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps into law, while the likes of Osun, Ondo, Lagos and Ogun joined in signing the bill into law.

The much talked about Amotekun bill created mixed reactions across the country amidst increased kidnapped cases in some southwest states.  Amotekun, a security initiative of the states in the South West Zone is aimed at boosting security in the region.

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday.passed the Amotekun Corps Bill into law by amending the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency Bill.

Our correspondent gathered that the lawmakers amended the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law to include the Amotekun corps.

The Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, led by the lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency 2, Tunde Braimoh, had held a public hearing on February 24, 2020, to get inputs from members of the public.

For ogun state, the national assembly passed the bill into law barely 19 days after receiving the bill from the state governor.

The bill, titled, “HB No 35/OG/2020- “A Bill for a law to establish the Ogun State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps to Assist in Maintaining Law and Order in the State and Connected Purposes,” was passed during a plenary presided over by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, following the presentation of the report of the Special Ad-hoc Committee on Security and Strategy by the majority leader, Yusuf Sherif.

The majority leader, thereafter, moved the motion for the adoption of the report which was seconded by Musefiu Lamidi and supported by all members through a voice vote after which the bill was read and adopted clause-by-clause by the committee of the whole House.

The motion for the third reading of the bill was later moved by the majority leader, seconded by Olusola Adams, while the Acting Clerk of the Assembly, Deji Adeyemo, did the third reading of the bill.

The speaker thereafter directed that the clean copy of the bill be forwarded to the governor, Dapo Abiodun, for his assent.

The assembly also approved the nomination of a commissioner nominee. Dairo Adetokunbo was screened earlier in the day after his name was sent to the lawmakers by Governor Abiodun last week.

The approval was sequel to the adoption of the report of the Committee on Transportation, led by Oludaisi Elemide, who also moved the motion for its adoption which was seconded by Musefiu Lamidi.

The confirmation of the nominee was thereafter done through a motion moved by the majority leader, Yusuf Sheriff, seconded by Solomon Osho and supported by other lawmakers through a voice vote.

The speaker, in his response, stated that the unanimous confirmation of the nomination of the nominee by the lawmakers was based on the information and documents presented by the nominee as at the time of the screening earlier conducted in the day.

The nominee had earlier been screened during a session presided over by the Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Oludaisi Elemide, with a charge on him to put his experience in transportation management to work, with a view to developing the state’s transport sector for optimum performance.

However, the Osun House of Assembly passed the Osun Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Establishment Bill 2020 after it was read for the third time.

The Amotekun bill was presented to the Osun Assembly on February 27 where it passed the first reading.

Subsequently, a public hearing was held by the Osun Assembly on February 24 to inject stakeholders’ contributions and suggestions into the bill.

The Osun Assembly, during its plenary on Monday, read and passed the bill for second reading and the House dissolved into a Committee of the Whole where grey areas in the bill were treated and a final draft of the bill adopted.

The Speaker, invoking order 87 rules 1 and 2 of the House, on Tuesday recommitted the bill back to the Committee of the Whole where the lawmakers further deliberated, amended and injected new suggestions into it.

The new amendments made to the bill were later adopted and it was read for the third time and unanimously passed by the lawmakers.

The Speaker, after the passage of the bill, thanked his colleagues for giving the bill an accelerated passage.

In addition, the Ondo Assembly on February 18 deliberated on the bill and committed it to the House Committee on Security Matters after scaling through first and second reading and had its public hearing on February 24.

The Majority Leader, Jamiu Maito, had moved a motion for the bill to be submitted by the Chairman of the House Committee on Security Matters, Ololade Begudu, and it was seconded by Favour Tomowemo representing Ilaje 2.

Bode Adeyelu read the bill for third reading, with Mr Maito moving the motion for its passage while it was seconded by Leonard Akinribido, the Deputy Minority Leader.

Speaking on the recommendations of the bill, Mr Begudu said the security agency would have a board to be administered by a chairman to be appointed by the governor.

He added that the chairman must be a person of proven integrity while there would a commander to lead the personnel of the corps on the field.

The committee chairman noted that the commander must be a retired security personnel, not below the rank of a major or its equivalent, with his confirmation at the behest of the assembly.

He said the template of the state was being used by others to harmonise the bill.

The Speaker of the house, Bamidele Oleyelogun, on his part, described the passage of the bill as remarkable.

Oleyelogun, who wore Amotekun traditional attire, said the bill if assented to by the governor would reduce crime in the state.

He explained that the corps would be a community policing body that would complement the work of other security agencies in the state.

The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kola Olawoye, said that history had been made in the state. Olawoye noted that it was the first time that the Yoruba race would speak with one voice without opposition.