The Federal Government on Tuesday declared as illegal the crime fighting security outfit – Amotekun – launched with fanfare last week by the South West State Governors.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the position of the government public in a statement issued by his office on Tuesday.
The statement signed by the Minister’s media assistant, Umar Gwandu, pointed out that the matters of defence and security were under the Exclusive List within the Constitution, and not under the States.
The statement reads in part: “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.”