By Molade Adegbuyi
The South-West governors have asked the Inspector General of Police, (IG) Mohammed Adamu to issue gun licences for Amotekun members expected to curb crime in the six mainly Yoruba states. The Governors are expected to send the after the expeditious passage of the bill hopefully before the end of this week.
Irohinoodua was reliably informed that the SW Governors have come to the conclusion that the Amotekun recruits will be better effective when armed with light weapons after intensive training on anti-crime strategies.
The Oyo State Attorney General, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo, told journalists in Ibadan on Friday “Carrying of arms is legalised by the law and Amotekun outfit will comply with all the laws of the land.”
The Ondo State Attorney General Olawoye, in an interview which was monitored by Irohinoodua, said, “A section of the bill stipulates that the Amotekun corps will be carrying arms licensed by the Inspector General of Police, in line with the Police Act . Each state will apply for the licence. After the law has been made, we will apply to the IG for the licence for the corps. Each state will have a corps commander, who will be in charge of administration, operational guidelines and other things he concluded
Early this year, the six Governors had at a summit organised by the Development Agenda for Western Agenda on January 9 agreed to set up the South West Security Network, (SWSN) tagged Amotekun to address every form of crime in the region.
The Federal Government earlier dismissed the initiative but appeared to have soft pedalled after the Governors’ meeting with the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo
The governors and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had agreed that a legal framework was imperative.
The Ondo State Attorney General, Kola Olawoye, said after the passage of the bill, each state would apply to the IG, Adamu, for a gun licence for the Amotekun corps.
The key features of the Amotekun Law include the establishment of the State Security Network Agency that will oversee the operations of the Amotekun Corps in each State.” He added that it would make available to the police and other security agencies relevant information on crime and crime-related activities, suspicious activities and suspects.
The AG added that the agency would undertake “routine day and night patrols on major roads, remote areas, hinterland, forests and inland waterways.”
According to Fapohunda, the attorney general for Ekiti State, The corps will ensure that offenders are identified, arrested, registered and promptly handed over to the nearest police station or post.
He also listed the functions of the agency to include “disarming unauthorised persons in possession of arms and other dangerous weapons.”
Fapohunda added that it would also render prompt assistance to crime and accident victims as well as undertake joint operations with the police and other security agencies.
Olawoye also said each state would apply to the Inspector General of Police for a gun licence for the Amotekun corps. The police had earlier warned Amotekun operatives against carrying firearms.
They said members and hunters working as Amotekun operatives could only carry Dane guns, which do not use cartridges.