The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday backed the South-West Security Outfit, code-named Amotekun, and has fixed a public hearing for Monday, February 24, 2020.
The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, subsequently committed the bill to the House Committee on Information, Publicity, Security and Strategy for a public hearing during plenary.
The committee, headed by Tunde Braimoh, was directed to report back to the House sine die.
The Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, had informed the House that he received a letter from the state’s Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, on the amendment of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC).
Sanni was subsequently ordered to read the bill entitled “A 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 House, Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1), said that the bill was an executive one, but that it was predicated on the private member bill that established LNSC, which he said, had been working well.
Agunbiade added that the bill would incorporate the concept of a more dynamic and more strengthened security platform than what they had in Lagos State.
He said: “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 South-West. 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 forests, highways and other places to protect us against hoodlums, cattle rustling and others.
“It will have a commander and Amotekun Corps would bear harms with the permission of the police. They will co-operate with other security platforms in Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti and Osun states.”
Other lawmakers in their contributions called for local content in the bill, adding that they needed people with native intelligence and that whoever would be appointed as the head of the unit, should be approved by the House.
They stressed that what the people of the South-West wanted now is security.
“People keep talking about Amotekun because that is what they want now. Amotekun emanated from the House with the LNSC, which has now transformed to Amotekun. Section 14 (2B) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 emphasises security. There are issues in the bill but they would be looked into later,” the lawmakers said.
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