Tuesday, January 14, 2020 9:18 pm
“Ignore him,” Middle Belt, S/East, S/South Leaders Advise Governors
Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister has come out with what has been described as a dampener to the high spirits that pervaded the South West after governors in the region launched its security outfit called “Operation Amotekun’. He has waved it off as illegal.
This is contained in a statement signed by Jubril Gwandu, media aide to the Minister entitled ‘Press Release on the Paramilitary Organisation named “Amotekun”.
Apart from complaining that he was not consulted before the idea of the operation was deliberated upon, he argued that Nigeria “is a sovereign entity 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 theFederal 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 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 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 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) 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 organisation, 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”.
However, South South, South East, South West and Middle Leaders advise that Malami should be ignored. Their joint statement is published below:
“The attention of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has been drawn to the illegal diktat by the Attorney – General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) declaring Amotekun, the South West security (not military or Police) outfit illegal.
We consider his action as an abuse of office to suppress the rights of federating units to secure themselves and in furtherance of the widely – held suspicion that sections of the country are deliberately being rendered vulnerable for herdsmen and other criminals by the Federal Government.
We ask the Governors of the South West to ignore Malami and allow him to go to court to challenge their decision as he cannot constitute himself a court over elected governors. We are not under military rule.
We insist that what the Governors have done is what individuals and neighborhoods can legally do to secure their lives and property.
The right to preserve your life cannot be under any exclusive list other than the list of those who have no value for human lives.
The ultra vire action of the AGF has further exposed Nigeria as a country under command and control and governed by a conquest mentality.
We ask Malami to tell us what makes Amotekun illegal and Hisbah legal.
He should further explain to us what makes Civilian JTF legal in the North East where there is war and in Zamfara and Katina and Kano where there is no war, while Amotekun is his only illegal take.
This is a defining moment to decide if we are under segregation and different laws in the country.
Gen CRU Iherike
Senator Bassey Henshaw
Dr Isuwa Dogo