Category: Government


AMOTEKUN Security And The Federal Government’s Stance

Written by Abdulbasit Usman


The Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) on 9th January 2020 declared the formation of Operation Amotekun (Leopard), the first regional security outfit in Nigeria, with the principal aim of combating terrorism and insecurity in the south west region. In a counter move, the Federal government on 14th January 2020 via the office of the Attorney General of the Federation declared the newly formed security outfit as illegal and directed the immediate disbanding of the outfit for having been formed contrary to the spirit of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and for having no legal backing within the legal framework of the Federation.

The move by the Federal government has led to widespread uproar within the polity, with some calling for the Federal government to review its decision, while some are in support of the declaration of illegality by the Federal government, citing the constitution as the grundnorm and the father of all laws, a breach of which renders everything made contrary to its provisions ultra vires and devoid of any force of law.

Even though proponents of the establishment of the security outfit are quick to point out the existence of other state sponsored or state-owned security outfits like the Hisbah Police of Kano State, and the Civilian Joint Task Force ( CJTF ) in war torn Borno and Yobe States, the divide opposed to the idea are quick to point out the distinguishing factors being that the former can be found within the legal framework of kano state, i.e Shariah Law, while the latter is not the result of any specific act of Government, but an evolution or hybridization caused by necessity of the situation forced upon the region by its security challenges.

The conservatives however are cautious of the intrigues that the novelty of the issue brings to the fore in the legal coliseum that is our courts. These conservatives however are quick to avert their minds to the provisions of the 1st Part of the SECOND SCHEDULE to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Exclusive Legislative List), particularly items; 17, 38 and 45. So that a combined reading of these items will create an impregnable impression that anything that has to do with the Defence of the Country, The Military of the Country and the Police or other Security services established by or under any law, are or ought to be done or established under the exclusive powers of the federal government.

However, as stated, that is only but an illusion until same solidifies into an unbreakable principle of law after standing the test of our courts. So for now the arguments for and against rages on, until our apex court lays the matter to rest.  On what side of the divide do you rest? Join the conversation by leaving us your views in the comments section.



By Victor Chikezie 

The Central Bank of Nigeria on the 13th of September 2018 introduced a Regulation for Instant Electronic Transfer Funds (EFT) Services in Nigeria. The new regulation titled: ‘Regulations on Instant (Inter-Bank) Electronic Funds Transfer Services in Nigeria’ was issued to all deposit money banks, microfinance banks, mobile money operators and other financial institutions; with the aim of regulating all Instant EFT services on various payment channels in Nigeria.

The Regulation makes provision for Responsibilities of a Sending and Receiving Entity in an EFT, stipulates stiff sanctions for non-compliance, and also provides for Dispute Resolution mechanisms to aid the effective implementation of the rules contained therein. The major highlights of the Regulation are as follows:

  • The Regulation prohibits Sending Entities from providing Instant Electronic Fund Transfer Services to anyone who does not have a bank account in Nigeria. In line with its objective of promoting sound financial systems in Nigeria, the CBN under this Regulation mandates Sending Entities to ensure that EFT messages contain the sender’s name, BVN and Account number, beneficiary’s name, account number and narration information specified by the Customer at the point of initiating the transfer, to aid reconciliation.


  • It provides further that where an EFT fails, the Sending Entity shall refund into the Customer’s account full proceeds returned by the Receiving Entity within 10 minutes of receiving same.


  • The Regulation states that where a sending entity erroneously sends a value contrary to the Customer’s instruction to a receiving entity and requests the reversal in writing within 14 working days of the transaction, the Receiving Entity should oblige within one business day without recourse to the Customer who benefitted from the erroneous transaction provided the funds are available in the wrongly credited Customer’s account.


  • Where the funds are no longer available in the Customer’s account, the Receiving Entity should immediately notify its Customer that the account was wrongly credited and provide proof of such notification to the Sending Entity. Furthermore, the Receiving Entity is to notify the Customer about the consequences of not funding the account within 24 hours, which includes sanctions such as watch-listing, credit bureau, and reporting the Customer to the law enforcement agencies.


  • The Regulation also makes provisions for situations where a transfer is made in error by the Customer. Where the beneficiary is known to the complainant, the apex Bank and the Sending Entity shall encourage the complainant (in this case the Customer who made the erroneous transfer) to contact the beneficiary in an amicable manner for a refund. However, where the beneficiary is unknown to the complainant, the Sending Entity having received a tenable complaint from a Customer shall notify the Receiving Entity. Upon notification, the Regulation provides that the Receiving Entity shall place a lien on the amount in the account of the beneficiary and thereafter obtain the consent of the beneficiary to execute a refund.


  • Again, the Regulation provides that a failed NIP Transaction not reversed into a Customer’s account within 24 hours (based on a complaint from a sender and/or a beneficiary) would attract a sanction of N10, 000 per item. Also, any delay in application of inward NIP into a beneficiary’s account beyond 4 minutes (based on a complaint from a sender and/or a beneficiary) would equally attract a sanction of N10, 000 per item in addition to any other sanction prescribed in the Nigeria Bankers’ Clearing System rules or any amendment thereto.


  • Furthermore, the Regulation imposes rights and responsibilities on the Bank Customers involved in electronic transfers. In effect, a bank Customer in an EFT transaction is required to provide accurate beneficiary account details for every EFT instruction. Where the Customer experiences problems arising from the EFT transaction, the Regulation mandates the Customer to promptly report the issue to the Sending/Receiving Entity. In line with the dispute resolution procedure in Article 10 of the Regulation, Section 5.4 of the Regulation provides that where a credit has been erroneously applied to a Customers’ account with the Receiving Entity, the customer shall promptly notify the Receiving Entity and authorise the reversal of such erroneous credit. In the event that the customer’s account is unfunded, the Regulation stipulates that the Customer shall provide funds within 24 hours and failure to do so shall be a ground for watch-listing of the Customer, credit bureau, and reporting the defaulter to law enforcement agencies.


The move by the CBN to regulate Electronic Fund Transfers and problems arising therefrom is commendable. In an accompanying circular, the Apex Bank stated that the regulation shall take effect from the 2nd day of October 2018. It is therefore imperative for all EFT stakeholders to be familiar with the responsibilities imposed by the Regulation to avoid any of the stiff penalties applicable thereunder.

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Edo State Governor has inaugurated a 12-man Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated a 12-man Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Hon. Justice Peter Isibor (Retd.), with a charge to uphold mercy, where applicable, in the dispensation of justice.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Advisory Council, Obaseki noted that prerogative of mercy ensures justice is served with mercy, but without perverting the course of justice.
He said, “I believe in advising me you will balance the concept of justice with mercy for victims, victims’ family, society, the convicts and justice to all.” Other members of the council include Isaiah Gaja; the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Yinka Omorogbe; Professor Violet Aigbokhaevbo; Mrs. F Osazee; Dr. Stephanie Ighedosa; Dr. E Oyanna; Mrs. Rosaline Edigin; Ven. Osaro Uyi Igbinosa, the state’s Controller of Prisons; the Commissioner of Police; and the Commander of the Nigerian Air Force.
The governor said that during a National Economy Council meeting in Abuja, the National Committee on the Decongestion of Prisons and Awaiting Trial Inmates presented statistics of inmates awaiting trial and condemned criminals, revealing that Edo State ranked sixth in the country.
The governor noted that with the inauguration of the council, the state will ensure justice is served, noting that it is a principle that was provided for in the constitution. “The Prerogative of Mercy is a constitutional power granted to the governor under section 212 subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which allows the governor to grant any person respite from execution or any punishment after consultation with an advisory council on Prerogative of Mercy as may be established by the law of the state. “It is important to note that the advisory council on Prerogative of Mercy has been provided for by the Bendel State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy Law Number 11, 1980,” he said.
He said he was confident that with the composition of the Advisory Council, the principle of the prerogative of mercy would come into force to decongest prisons. The Chairman of the Advisory Council, Hon. Justice Peter Isibor said the council will equitably discharge its duties. “We will be dealing with people who are already convicted by a superior court of the land and ensure only persons who deserve mercy are recommended for state pardon,” he added.