Uproar As FG Declares Amotekun Illegal

Uproar yesterday greeted the declaration by the Federal Government that the security outfit launched barely a few days ago by governors of the South-West states, known as Operation Amotekun is illegal.
The Federal Government said it is not backed by any known law in the land. Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made this known in a statement yesterday.

The decision, however, elicited angry reactions from Yoruba leaders, who faulted the Federal Government’s refusal to support the outfit.

In a statement by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the government said the issue of defence and security are under the exclusive list and not with the states.

The statement read: “The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called “Amotekun” is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law.

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the Army, Navy and Air Force, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria.

“As a consequence of this, no state government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organisation or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts.

“This is sanctioned by the provision of Item 45 of the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) authorizing the Police and other federal security services established by law to maintain law and order.

“The law will take its natural course in relation to excesses associated with organisation, administration and participation in Amotekun or continuous association with it as an association.

“Finally, it is important to put on record that the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice was not consulted on the matter.

If it had, proper information and guidance would have been offered to ensure that Nigeria’s defence and corporate entity are preserved at all times.”

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