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Falana tackles Malami,says Amotekun not unconstitutional
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Human rights legal professionals, Femi Falana (SAN), has disagreed with Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation, on the legality of ‘Amotekun’. the southwestern states’ joint safety outfit.
Barely a week after the 5 South-West governors collectively inaugurated internal vigilante group for the safety of the zone, the AGF, on Tuesday, issued an announcement, declared the security unlawful and unconstitutional.
Falana remarked while in Lagos on the 16th Annual Gani Fawehinmi Lecture, on Wednesday with the theme, “Federalism and the Judiciary in Nigeria”.
Falana described Malami’s statement on Amotekun as discriminatory, noting that northern states had been working related safety outfits akin to Hisbah and the Civilian Joint Task Force.
Falana who was the programme moderator, stated, “In the North-East region, particularly Yobe and Borno, there is a civilian JTF, well-armed; and sometimes when the soldiers are afraid they ask the civilian JTF to go and confront Boko Haram.
“In Kano and Sokoto, you have Hisbah. Three weeks ago, Hisbah in Zamfara arrested a policeman; they said the policeman was caught in a hotel with three women and they said that was an abomination.
“The point I’m making is that the Nigerian state has collapsed; we are deceiving ourselves. What the (South-West) governors are doing is not more than the Neighbourhood Watch in Lagos. The only prohibition against any kind of group is in Section 227 of the Constitution – Nobody shall set up a military wing for political reasons.”
The human rights lawyer said if a person might apply for a licence to bear arms, he noticed no purpose why a state governor could not apply for firearms for local safety preparations.
“You can go to Abuja today, as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and apply to the IG for a licence to bear arms; he will give you. And I have asked the Governors of Lagos State since 1999, ‘Please, if I can ask for a gun to protect my family and myself, why can’t you ask for 10,000 licences for young men and women to protect 20 million people?’ We have to go back to court.” he added.