Before you compare HISBAH With Amotekun – Zara Onyinye

Since the declaration of the South Western Nigeria Security Network (AMOTEKUN) as illegal by the Federal Government, a lot of people especially from the South West, have been trying so hard to compare the outfit with Kano State’s Hisbah Corps.

I just thought that I should share the below information.

  1. The Kano State Hisbah Board was created through the Kano State Hisbah Board Law No.4 of 2003 and the Kano State Hisbah Board (Amendment) Law No.6 of 2005 by the Kano State House of Assembly, which were duly assented to by the then Governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau.

Now, what Law created AMOTEKUN, by which House of Assembly, and who assented to it?

  1. Under Section 7 of the Law No. 4 of 2003, Hisbah Corps were established with the duties and responsibilities set out under subsection (4) of that section, some of which include:

” – Rendering necessary assistance to the Police and other Security Agencies especially in the areas of prevention, detention and reporting of offences;

  • Handling non-fire-arms for self defence like batons, and other non-lethal civil defence instruments;
  • Assisting in traffic control;
  • Assisting in any other situation that will require the involvement of Hisbah be it preventive or detective.”

The Law that established Hisbah Corps was categorical in not allowing them to carry fire arms or any lethal weapons for self defence.
What about AMOTEKUN? What does the law establishing it say, if at all one exists?

  1. The Government of Olusegun Obasanjo through the Inspector General of Police Mr. Sunday Ehindero in a press briefing on 7th of February, 2006 declared the Hisbah Law and the operations of the bodies created by the Laws as unconstitutional and illegal.
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Is AMOTEKUN even backed by any Law?

  1. On 8th February, 2006 the same Inspector General of Police Sunday Ehindero ordered his officers and men to effect the arrest of the Chairman and Commander General of the Hisbah Corps, Mallam Yahaya Farouk Chedi and his Deputy Mallam Abubakar Abdulkareem Rabo. They were arrested in Kano and immediately taken to Abuja where they were detained.

Has any Commander of AMOTEKUN been arrested, despite the fact that they are not backed by any known law and are made to carry fire-arms?
Would the atmosphere not have been more volatile by now if such has happened?

  1. The same Government of Olusegun Obasanjo through the Minister of Information, Mr Frank Nweke Jr. in another press briefing made serious allegations that the Hisbah had sought foreign assistance from Libya and Iran for training as a terrorist group.

Has there been any such or similar allegations by the Federal Government against AMOTEKUN, even though the outlawed notorious Yoruba Ethnic Militia (OPC) with history of violent crimes against other ethnic groups and even the police, are integral part of the outfit?

Despite all the blackmail by Obasanjo Administration against HISBAH, no insults or overheating the polity were seen.

Northern Leaders and Intellectuals did not use emotion and blackmail to handle the unwarranted assault by the Obasanjo led Federal Government.

Northerners did not accuse Obasanjo and Ehindero (both Yoruba) of executing a Yoruba domination agenda.

Northern Muslims did not accuse Obasanjo, Ehindero and Nweke Jr. (all Southern Christians) of executing a Christianization agenda.

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Rather, common sense prevailed and the Attorney General of Kano State took the matter to the Supreme Court where it was resolved.

Now, if the Yorubas believe AMOTEKUN is legal or created by any law and that the duties and responsibilities of the outfit (including the issue of holding fire-arms or lethal weapons) does not contravene any provision of the constitution, what is stopping them from approaching the Courts for settlement of the matter?

Why can’t our Yoruba brothers pursue the issue of AMOTEKUN based purely on its merit and without joining HISBAH which differs in legitimacy, structure and functions, into their agitation?

Why can’t they go about the matter with maturity and without insults or emotional blackmail against the Northerners especially and anyone of them who has reserved public commentary aligning with their agitations?

Is the group of South West Governors not made up of at least a lawyer? Rotimi Akeredolu the Governor of Ondo State is not only a Senior Advocate of Nigeria but also a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association. Why has he been unable to provide legal advise to his peers on the legal implications of setting up AMOTEKUN the way it was done?

Is this an indictment of his legal credentials or simply a well orchestrated move?

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