By Femi Oguntayo
Ekiti State Attorney General and commissioner for justice, Olawale Fapohunda has assured the people that Amotekun operatives will not protect the Yoruba ethnic group alone but will provide equal protection for all regardless of their ethnic group and also proposed some amendments in the Amotekun bill forwarded to the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
Fapohunda who made the claim while addressing honourable members and participants at the public hearing of the bill for a law establishing the Amotekun Corps at the Ekiti State House of Assembly complex in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday where he proposed five new amendments in the bill, stated that the proposal was based on comments his ministry received from the public on the proposed law.
According to him, section four of the bill deals with the objectives of the Ekiti State security Network agency and claimed the state government was persuaded by the arguments in favour of including offences such as trespass into farmlands and illegal mining in the law, he therefore proposed that this be included in section 4b of the bill.
He also said: “section six of the bill provides for the establishment and composition of the Ekiti State Security Network Governing Board. We are persuaded by the arguments that the chairperson of the board should be a retired law enforcement officer not below the rank of a Major General in the Nigerian Army or its equivalent in other security agencies. Section six (two) (a) should then be amended accordingly.
Other amendments in the proposed law as presented by the Attorney General include the devolution to Local Government Areas along the 16 Local Government Councils in Ekiti State. He however proposed that section 16 of the bill be amended and replaced by Area Commanders based in the 16 Local government headquarters of Ekiti State.
“Section 30 provides for the funding of the Agency. We are persuaded by the argument that local government should contribute to the funding of this agency. Section 30 (a) should then be amended to reflect the inclusion of Local Government.Section 35 deals with Pre- Action Notice. We are persuaded by the arguments in support of an exception to this rule specifically on matters relating to allegations of Human Rights Violation. We therefore support an amendment to this section accordingly”, Fapohunda appealed.
He also cleared the air on the misinformation in the public space as regards the proposed Amotekun law by stated that the bill was not for the Yoruba ethnic group alone. “The provisions of the Bill do not discriminate against any other ethnic group. The Law when enacted will provide equal protection for all regardless of their ethnic group, gender, economic status, religion, language or any other attribute”, he said.