The Senator representing Kogi West, Mr Dino Melaye, has accused the government of Kogi state of enacting a law to create 'state police' in contravention of the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria.
Mr. Melaye, on Wednesday, while presenting a motion at the Senate, said the force created by Kogi was empowered to carry ammunition, warning that such agency might portend havoc in future.
According to the details published by Premium Times, Mr Melaye urged his colleagues to act before the group becomes a problem.
“Mr. President, I bring to the Senate a law passed by the Kogi state government and signed into law by the governor of Kogi state that talks about the establishment of the Vigilante Service Group. Mr. President, I have that law here, it’s already a law of the Kogi state government. By the time I perused this law, this law is in conflict with the provisions of the constitution. This law alters the functions of the Nigeria Police as stipulated in section 214 of the constitution.
“Mr. President, it is a fact that state can make laws through the Houses of Assembly as enshrined in section 4 of the constitution but the law they will make must not be in conflict with the provisions of the constitution. Mr. President, I seek your indulgence to read a section of the law passed by Kogi state government. It says that Vigilante Group will be involved in detection and prevention of crime, the apprehension of criminals, the preservation of law and order, the protection of lives and property. Will assist other security and para-military agencies in the discharge of their duties to assist other security agencies in government installations, to assist other security agencies in maintaining law and order in any economic, political and social gathering. There shall be a controller of Vigilante services. There is also a Deputy Controller-General.
“Mr. President, the most affront on the constitution is in section 15 of that law which says the vigilante Service Group shall carry dane guns, other guns and other light weapons that are commensurate with their duties and responsibilities.”
He warned against condoning such group in Kogi state. Mr. Melaye said the group are already ‘killing people in Kogi.’
“This is how it started in Kano, it was not contained, it started ravaging. This is how Boko Haram started, this is how Sara Suka started. The senate will not fold our arms and close our eyes where a governor is equipping militia to wreak havoc on innocent citizens. As I speak to you, this group is already killing in every part of Kogi state. There is record of killings in Okene, Adabi, Lokoja and this group are carrying AK-47 and pump actions openly in Kogi.
“This will now justify the reason why uniforms and hardware are imported into Nigeria. It will now justify why military weapons and gadgets were addressed as sporting equipment for the purpose of illegal importation. The laws of Kogi state shall not override the constitution.” Melaye expressed on the floor of the senate.