After the pomp and pageantry that greeted the setting up of sub-regional security outfit in the South-west, Amotekun, the Federal Government has thrown a spanner into the works, declaring it illegal.
In a statement, the country’s chief law officer, Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, discountenanced the outfit of the South-west States of Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti.
Fears are already being raised that the sub-region will take on the Federal Government, serially accused of tacitly backing Fulani herdsmen and bandits attacking parts of the country.
The statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Gwandu, reads : “The setting up of the paramilitary organization 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 Airforce, 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 organization 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 Government security services established by law to maintain law and order.
“The law will take its natural course in relation to excesses associated with organization, 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.”