Nigeria’s justice minister Abubakar Malami on Thursday insisted that the inauguration of a paramilitary organisation Amotekun by south-western states of the country is contrary to provisions of the law.
“The setting up of the paramilitary organization called ‘Amotekun’ is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law,” Malami said in a statement by his media aide Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
“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.”
Nigeria’s south-western states, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun launched Amotekun on Thursday, January 9 in Ibadan, as its security outfit to tackle kidnapping and other criminal activities in the region.
The state governors said the security network will complement the efforts of the Nigerian Police Force and other agencies in ensuring the security of lives and properties.
However, days after the launch, the Nigerian government declared the security network as illegal, saying no state or group of states has the power to set up its own security outfit.
“No other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over defence,”
He said government’s position against the security outfit is powered 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.”
Malami said the South-West states did not consult the government for guidance on the matter.