Officers of the South West Security Network Agency (Amotekun Corps) in Osun, have cried out for the payment of four to six months (June to Novermber) salary, allegedly withheld on the directive of their field commander.
The officers, who are about 31 in number, claimed their salary is being withheld by the state Ministry of Finance based on the directive given to them by the state Amotekun Field Commander, Mr Amitolu Shittu.
Speaking on behalf of the affected officers, Mr Adelowo Samuel, the Amotekun Ife East Commander, said the Field Commander (whose position is politcal) is using his political power to victimise them.
He said when they inquired to known why their salaries were withheld, they learnt it was due to actions considered as offences by the Field Commander, but not against the rules of engagement of Amotekun.
Speaking on why salary of one of the affected officers was withheld, Samuel explained that, what was tagged as his offence was that he tracked a suspect to another state to arrested him, which was why he was questioned and his salary stopped.
He said tracking and arresting a suspect in another state was not an offence according to the Amotekun rules of engagement (as such arrests are done by Amotekun officers in the other state after they are informed of the suspect’s presence in their domain).
Another Amotekun officer, who spoke anonymously, said his own offence was that a friend/colleague posted his picture (with edited Amotekun uniform of higher rank) on the state Amotekun WhatsApp platform to wish him Happy Birthday.
He said the Field Commander summoned him for the act and this led to the subsequent suspension/stoppage of his Salary for four months, plus undergoing in-house punishment.
The officers cried that two out of them have died in the course of demanding for the payment, while some had their children withdrawn from school because they could not pay their school fees.
They said life had become difficult for them since their salaries where stopped and they are finding it even more difficult to feed themselves or family and survive in the harsh economy of the country.
They appeal to the appropriate state authority to look into their plight and prevail over the matter, so their withheld salaries can get paid, saying the state government was not owing them, but their salary is just been withheld by their Field Commander.
Reacting to the allegations, Mr Amitolu Shittu, the Osun Field Commander of Amotekun, said the matter is an internal issue and that the affected officers were being punished for various offenses committed.
Shittu said the officers should not involve him in their predicament as it was the corps (Amotekun) that has taken action against them.
He said it was the state government and Ministry of Finance that is responsible for salary payment and if they have any issue with their salary, they should write the state government, Ministry of Finance or better still seek redress in court.
Rtd.Brig-Gen. Bashir Adewinmbi, the Osun State Commander of Amotekun, however said the matter is been handled , that the officers violated some offences, including dereliction of duty, but their withheld salaries would be paid.
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