The Federal Government has declared that Operation Amotekun, the recently inaugurated security outfit of the South-West geopolitical region, is illegal.
This declaration was made by Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, in a statement issued by Umar Gwandu, his Special Adviser on Media and Public Relations, on Tuesday.
According to Malami, who is the chief law officer of the federation, the creation of the security organisation is a violation of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
The AGF insisted that only the Federal Government has the exclusive right to create a security organisation for the defence of the country.
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) authorising 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.”
Malami maintained that his office was not consulted by the governors of the South-West region to agree on the modalities of the security organisation, adding that his office would have offered proper information and guidance.