A provision in the proposed law of the Western Nigeria Security Network known as ‘Operation Amotekun’ has stated that the regional security outfit cannot be challenged in court until after a 30-day written notice had been issued by an aggrieved member of the public, SaharaReporters can confirm.
A copy of the bill sighted on Monday by our correspondent also stated that any complainant planning to sue the agency must include their full personal details before seeking redress in court.
The provision, which is inserted in Section 35 (Part IV) of the proposed law, provides for the pre-action notice as a way of shielding the security agency from being dragged to court on any action.
Section 35 reads, “A suit shall not commence against the agency unless thirty (30) days written notice of intention to commence an action is issued to the agency and it must include the particulars of the intending claimant, details of the complaint and reliefs sought.”
Also, under the miscellaneous provisions in another section of the proposed law, it is stated that acts done in the course of duty by any member of the board, staff of the agency of Amotekun Corps is excluded from liability and shall not be sued in his or her personal capacity for any lawful act.
Another part of the bill gives enormous powers to the outfit by stating that anyone, who assaults or obstructs members of the corps in the course of their duties shall be guilty of an offence and liable to conviction or pay a fine.
It was gathered that the bill have been submitted by other South-West governors to their respective legislatures for ratification except Ekiti State where it had already become a law.
Sehinde Fanokun, spokesperson for the Ondo State House Assembly, confirmed that lawmakers will resume legislative business on Tuesday so as to ratify the bill.
He added that a public hearing on the bill will hold on Wednesday at the Assembly complex.
Meanwhile, an Ondo State-based human rights activist and lawyer, Charles Titiloye, has condemned section 35 of the proposed law of the agency.
Titiloye said the inclusion of the 30-day pre-action notice before approaching a court will be a violation of citizens’ fundamental rights.
He said, “Amotekun is a security outfit whose action where it violates citizen fundamental human rights should be actionable within 24 hours.
“This section on pre-action notice in Amotekun bill is in conflict with section 46 of constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria which allows unrestricted access to court when fundamental human rights of citizens are violated.
“We should be careful not to create a security outfit that cannot be challenged until after 30 days. Nigerian Police Act did not have such provisions.”
Titiloye called on lawmakers of the six South-West states to further look into Section 34 and delete the clause from the proposed law.
‘Operation Amotekun’ was established by governors of the South-West region to tackle the spate of insecurity in the area.