Former President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and activist lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) have reacted to the declaration of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami that Operation Amotekun outfit launched last week by the Southwest governors is illegal.
The SANs said that the South West governors have done no wrong with the formation of Amotekun.
They said they do not have to consult with the Attorney General of the Federation before taking security measures to protect their States.
They spoke yesterday at the 16th Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) Annual Lecture/ Symposium (Fawehinmiism) organized by Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch and held at Oranmiyan Hall, Airport Hotel, Ikeja.
“No one has the power to overrun the constitution.
“What they are doing is not policing but security measures.
“The Inspector-General of Police was involved when they started but I don’t know what happened and he backed out. Maybe they had a re-think
“We all need to have the Gani spirit. Maybe, the association of Attorney Generals would need to go to court on the matter to determine who is wrong”, Agbakoba said.
Falana added that the governors by establishing ‘operation Amotekin’ are just protecting and securing their people in line with the constitution.
He remarked that the only prohibition against any group in section 22 of the constitution which said nobody shall set up a military wing.
…it has come to stay – Soyinka
Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says “Amotekun”, the regional security outfit in the south-west, has come to stay.
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, had described the outfit as illegal, saying security remains the exclusive preserve of the federal government.
But at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, Soyinka expressed shock that the federal government could take such a position.
“Our responsibility as a citizen is to take actions against events, phenomenon which militate against our existence, security, productivity and dignity as human beings,” he said.
“This has been a result of collective consciousness by people of this region. These governors met and they came up with this solution, Amotekun. Now, some people who have been sleeping all this time, taking belated actions in many directions, who watched the citizens of this nation decimated, villages wiped out, farmers chased off their land. They are now coming out to tell us that this initiative is illegal, unconstitutional. I think they should go back to sleep.
“I prefer to believe that the government itself has not spoken. I refuse to believe that any serious government will raise any objection to this kind of initiative. Amotekun has come to stay.
“Amotekun is only a part of the story. It should not be the only solution to insecurity. We should move from Amotekun to Awosikun. In other words, we should start thinking in terms of how to feed our own people.”
The scholar had earlier described the scheme as an unexpected New Year present.