- Reactions have continued to trail the declaration by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), that the new security outfit in the South-West( Operation Amotekun) is illegal.
The leader of the Yoruba World Congress, Prof Banji Akintoye, said Yoruba people will challenge the declaration of Amotekun as illegal by the Federal Government in court.
Akintoye, who is a renowned historian said that his group would wait until Wednesday to hear the position the South-West governors would take on the development.
The leader of the YWC said he had spoken to scores of lawyers who told him that the Federal Government’s pronouncement on the South-West Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun was illegal.
“We will wait till tomorrow morning to hear what our governors will say. However, Amotekun is no longer the affairs of the governors alone, it has become a property of the Yoruba people.
“We Yoruba people will respond to the position of scores of lawyers I have spoken to about this is that the action of the Federal Government itself is illegal.
“All the lawyers said the action of the Federal Government was illegal and that the Yoruba people should pursue it in court. We will wait for our lawyers on how to pursue it legally.
Also, the Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association has said the Federal Government’s rejection of Amotekun had further confirmed that President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is supporting the Fulani against other ethnic groups without hiding
The National President of the group, Olalekan Hammed, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement read, “Everybody knows that the insecurity problem facing the country is largely being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen and we (Yoruba) came out with a lasting solution.”
It would be recalled that Malami made the Federal Government’s positions known in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umaru Gwandu.
- The statement reads:: “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 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 AGF faulted the setting up of Operation Amotekun. “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.”