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FG Declares Operation Amotekun Illegal

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Faith Agua
The Abuja Times Newspaper

The Federal Government has declared ‘Operation Amotekun’ as an illegal outfit.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Special Assistant, Media and Public Relations (Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice), Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.

“The setting up of the paramilitary organization called “Amotekun” is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law,” the statement read.

The security body was recently launched by the governors of the South-West states to tackle kidnapping and other criminal activities in the zone.

But the Federal Government maintained that “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”.

According to the government, consequently, no other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over the defence.

Read the full statement below.

Press Release on the Paramilitary Organisation named “Amotekun”

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 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
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.

Signed
Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu
SA Media and Public Relations
(Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice)
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