By Ignatius Okorocha
The Senate has ordered a probe into alleged the arming of vigilance groups in Kogi State by Governor Yahaya Bello.
The lawmakers said that the governora��s action negated the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) .
Consequently, the Upper House mandated its Committee on National Security, Intelligence and Judiciary to summon the National Security Adviser (NSA), Brigadier-General Babagana Mungono (rtd) and the Attorney -General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami for prompt action against the militia group.
The Senate’s move for the disbandment of armed vigilantes was sequel to a motion moved by Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi west).
Melaye had in the motion anchored on Order 42(1) of the Senate Standing Rules, alleged that the Governor Bello had introduced state police through the back door.
According to him, the governor had through the laws passed by the State House of Assembly established Vigilante Service Group illegally saddled with functions constitutionally entrusted to the Police.
He said that Section 15 of the state law on the Vigilante Service Group illegally empowered it to be involved in the detection and prevention of crime, carry Dane guns and other light ammunition to kill political enemies in the state.
He added that the existence of the armed outfit in the state and its operations through an illegal law passed by the Kogi State House of Assembly run contrary to relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution and should therefore be disbanded in line with Section 1(3) of the 1999 constitution.
But Senator Victor Umeh ( APGA Anambra Central ) called for caution in the disbandment of such groups .
He said that though the Kogi example is a bad one based on available reports, but that of Anambra State is a good one.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu , in his own contribution, said that such outfits being created by state governments arose from the failure of centralised security architecture in the country .
According to him, the creation of state police in the country in the mode of the Brazilian model, would a�?take off our land various forms of locally armed groups being established in some states.a�?
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his ruling said that the “Committee on National Security and Intelligence should invite the NSA to discuss on how to disband the vigilance group in Kogi State.”
By Ignatius Okorocha