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‘Amotekun’: Falana asks south-west governors to ignore Malami

‘Amotekun’: Falana asks south-west governors to ignore Malami
January 15
20:17 2020
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Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says the federal government lacks the power to outlaw “Amotekun”, the regional security outfit in the south-west. 

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, had described the outfit as illegal, saying security remains the exclusive preserve of the federal government.

In a statement on Wednesday, Falana advised the governors of the south-west states to ignore Malami and enact laws to validate the outfit.

The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the proscription of “Amoteku” by the federal government is hypocritical and discriminatory.

“Before the official launch of Amotekun at Ibadan, Oyo State last week, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim held a meeting with the south west governors represented by Gov Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State. At the end of the meeting the Police endorsed the security initiative,” Falana said.

“By virtue of section 318 of the Constitution the word “government” is said to include the Government of the Federation, or any State, or of a local government council or any person who exercises power or authority on its behalf. Thus, through the Inspector-General of Police the federal government has ratified the establishment of Amotekun.

“Therefore, the statement of the Attorney-General of the Federal Government that he was not consulted before the establishment of Amotekun is totally uncalled for and ought to be ignored by the south west governors.

“It is pertinent to point out that as chief security officers in the respective states, governors have the power to adopt measures deemed fit within the ambit of the law to ensure the maintenance of law and order.

“In view of the aforesaid decided cases of our courts the Federal Government does not have exclusive control over law and order in any of the 36 states of the Federation.

“Since Amotekun is not an outfit set up by south west governors to harass or intimidate political opponents it cannot be prohibited under section 227 or any other provision of the Constitution. In other words, the Constitution has not prohibited the establishment of security outfits for the defence of the people of Nigeria. However, if Mr. Malami is convinced that his position is backed by law he should approach the Supreme Court to test the constitutional validity of Amotekun.”

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