Amotekun: Afenifere, Clark fault FG’s labeling of security outfit illegal/

Leaders from the South-West and South-South regions of the country have tackled the federal government for describing Amotekun, a recently launched security outfit, as illegal.

The recently launched security outfit was an initiative of the six governors in the south-west aimed at supporting other established security agencies in combating insecurity in the region.

But on Tuesday, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had challenged the initiative, arguing only the federal government controls the security architecture of the country.

In a statement issued through his spokesman, Umar Gwandu, Malami had said: “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) authorising the police and other Federal
Government security services established by law to maintain law and order.”

Reacting however, a leader of Afenifere, Yoruba socio-political organisation, Ayo Adebanjo, stated the federal government has no right to described the newly launched security outfit as illegal.

Citing the existence of other similar outfits in the Northern parts of the country, the elder statesman called on the federal government to approach the court, rather than openly condemning the initiative.

His words: “He (Malami) has no right to declare the authority of state governments as illegal. If it is illegal, he should take them to court and beg the court to declare it illegal under the constitution of the country. He has no authority to do so at all.

“Civilian organisations in Kano and other places in the north, they are not illegal, how are they now illegal in the south? For me I am not surprised, any dictatorial tendency from the federal government is welcomed because I have predicted it so they are only confirming all that I have said about Buhari’s dictatorial tendency.

“The judiciary is established to adjudicate between persons and between governments. I have said it before that this is not a government of the people, it is the military government of the north by Buhari. It is a dictatorship per se.”

Also speaking, convener of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Edwin Clark, tackled the federal government for describing the security outfit as illegal, noting such declaration could further stir tensions in the country.

He said: “I think the attorney general of Nigeria is arrogating too much to himself. The attorney general should go to court to ask the court to declare it null.

“The declaration of the security outfit in the south-west is unconstitutional. The decision had been taken by the people and after they had a meeting with the law enforcement agents, the day they were going to establish it, nobody went to stop it.

“After they had declared it, other people said it is a welcome decision, even the governors in the north said they were going to do it, that it is a good decision. So I do not know why the attorney general will sit in his office and make such an announcement, which in my own view, is illegal in itself.

“So what of the civilian joint task force in the north-east, in Borno. Are they not civilians? What of the civil organisation in Kano which is operating side by side with the Nigerian police? Why the double standard by the attorney general? Nigeria belongs to all of us and he is the attorney general of Nigeria, not the attorney general of the presidency.

“So I think his decision is very wrong and will create problem and cause unnecessary tension in the country because nobody will accept it. Let him go to court, let the court declare it illegal.”


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