Nigeria: House Passes Bill Seeking Legal Backing for Amotekun, Ebubeagu, Others

10 June 2021

The House of Representatives at the plenary yesterday passed for second reading a bill seeking to alter the provisions of the 1999 Constitution to give legal backing to states' security outfits.

Some zones in the country have adopted regional security outfits to curtail the worsening security challenges facing the country. While the South-west region has established its security outfit as Amotekun, the South-east region recently created Ebubeagu, as its own regional security outfit to tackle the rising unrest.

Leading the debate on its general principles, the sponsor of the bill, Hon. Oberuakpefe Afe (PDP, Delta), said the security agencies are saddled with enormous responsibility of maintaining law and order, hence the proposed legislation, and if passed, would complement the Nigeria Police Force to tackle insecurity in the country.

He said the country can no longer deny the fact that the state or local police are performing the function of the Nigerian police force.

According to him, "Each state is now coming up with different security outfits, and there is need for us to structure it so as to ensure proper coordination. If passed, the states security outfits would help in intelligence gathering. The duty of maintaining law and protection of lives and property would be complemented as well."

Afe added that the amendment would regulate the local policing in order to have a structural operation.

When put to a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase, the bill got the support of majority of the lawmakers.

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