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Amotekun: South West governors tasked on human rights, accountability

The Citizen’s Gavel has urged the South West governors to ensure they respect and protect individual and collective human rights of Nigerians in the Amotekun…

The Citizen’s Gavel has urged the South West governors to ensure they respect and protect individual and collective human rights of Nigerians in the Amotekun initiative.

The Team Lead, Citizens’ Gavel, Mr. Nelson Olanipekun, gave this charge in Abuja on Wednesday.

He commended the governors on the Amotekun initiative, saying for it to succeed as a community security intervention, its foundational laws, concepts, principles, policies and regulations must be totally imbued with adequate human rights provisions.

The non-governmental organization, which has been on the frontline of the #EndSARS movement, urged the state governments and state assemblies to pay utmost attention to human rights issues in the process of establishing the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN).

Olanipekun said that with the inadequacy in human rights standards in the present security architecture of the country, it would be of greater damage for Amotekun to evolve and only contribute to the terrible human violations prevalent in the sector.

He said while the provision of Section 25 of the Amotekun Bill is commendable, the section should also provide for the punishments and other disciplinary measures that can be adopted whenever there is a violation of human rights provisions.

“Section 25 (12) (f) provides that “the complaint board should recommend its decision and any such action deemed fit and send its recommendation(s) to the Attorney General in respect of every complaint and request received”.

“This section reveals that the complaint board is not independent as posited in the provision and all its powers are subject to the ratification of the Attorney General of the State – thus the complaint board is almost powerless.

“We recommend that if a retired judge or Magistrate seats over any complaints, their decision must be final and not subject to anyone in accordance to the separation of powers,” Olanipekun said.

He also said that the law does not specifically provide for offenses or infractions that Amotekun Corps can be held liable for.

He said this appears to mean that Amotekun members have powers to engage in all methods to achieve their mandate, noting that this is a potential bomb waiting to explode, which must be addressed.

Daily Trust reports that governors from the six south-western states of Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti had on January 9, 2020 launched the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), also called ‘Operation Amotekun.’

The security outfit, according to the governors, was aimed at tackling insecurity challenges facing the region such kidnapping, banditry, and other sundry crimes.

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