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Thursday, 27 February 2020

Falana: Amotekun will be regional — whether anybody likes it or not

Falana: Amotekun will be regional — whether anybody likes it or not

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed “Amotekun” will operate as a regional outfit “irrespective of whose ox is gored”.

Falana said this on Thursday while delivering a lecture at a programme to mark the third year anniversary of Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state.

The federal government had initially described Amotekun as illegal, saying security is its “exclusive preserve”.

But after a meeting between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and south-west governors, an agreement was reached to draw up a legal framework for the security outfit.

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Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, later met with the governors and an agreement was reached for Amotekun to operate as a state-based initiative and not a regional outfit as originally conceived.

But Falana, who said it was necessary for governors to “encroach” on the exclusive list, said the outfit will operate regionally.

The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said too much power is concentrated at the central and is slowing the pace of development in the country.

“You must, I beg you, encroach on the exclusive legislative list. State governments are encroaching there and in fairness to President Buhari, he has never challenged state government that encroach on the exclusive list for development,” Falana said.

“State governments have hisbah, CNJTF, vigilante groups and of course Amotekun. And that was what the attorney-general was saying that security is in the control of the federal government but your governor, who is also a SAN, told him Amotekun has come to stay.

“Federal government has said you can go ahead but please don’t make it a regional whatever. Whatever that means. But for me, if Amotekun is chasing criminals and they move to Osun state, all you have to do is to contact your people in Osun state to arrest them and send back here. So, it is going to be regional, whether anybody likes it or not.”

He called on governors to see to the implementation of Nasir el-Rufai committee’s recommendations on restructuring.

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