Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN) has described the new security outfit in the South-West( Operation Amotekun) as illegal

The AGF has said the security and defence of the country are within the exclusive duties of the Federal Government.
He said no state government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of security organization or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts.
He said the law would take its course on any group or association linked with Operation Amotekun.
He expressed regrets that his office was not consulted for legal advice by the proponents of Operation Amotekun.
Malami made the Federal Government’s positions known in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umaru Gwandu.
However, the Ogun State Government described the AGF’s position as “a mere statement from another government official.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the state governor , Kunle Somorin, in an interview said the AGF might be taken to court.
He said, “It is a mere statement by another government official. Other political leaders across the South-West have spoken in favour of Amotekun. Other regions are planning to emulate South-West governors on the ideas and ideals of Amotekun.
“There’s no going back. We can challenge it in the law court. The AGF must know the truth that Amotekun is a reality, nothing is changing it. There’s no going back on Amotekun.”
But the Special Adviser to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, said the state government had yet to be informed.
But the state governor, in a telephone interview with Channels Television, said the South-West governors had not met on Malami’s statement.
“We have not met. When we meet, we will react appropriately, but one thing is clear, laws are not made in the office of the AGF. He is only meant to interpret the law,” he said.
The Chief Press Secretary to Osun State governor, Ismail Omipidan, said Amotekun was a joint initiative of all South-West governors.
“Amotekun is a joint operation. The decision was taken jointly. And I believe the governors will also meet to review whatever position if the needs arises to do that,” Omipidan said.
But the state governor, in a telephone interview with Channels Television, said the South-West governors had not met on Malami’s statement.
“We have not met. When we meet, we will react appropriately, but one thing is clear, laws are not made in the office of the AGF. He is only meant to interpret the law,” he said.

Malami’s full statement:

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a sovereign entity and is governed by
laws meant to sustain its corporate existence as a constitutional democracy. It is a Federation of states, but with the Federal Government superintending over matters of national interests.
“The division of executive and legislative authority between the Federal and State Governments has been clearly defined by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“It is against the same background that matters relating to the peace, order and good government of the Federation and in particular, the defence of the country, are enshrined in the Exclusive Legislative List. The Second Schedule in Item 17 deals with defence.
“This is a matter that is within the exclusive operational competence of the Federal of Government of Nigeria. No other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over defence.”
“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 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 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.”

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