Fireworks over the declaration of Amotekun, a security structure established by governors in southwest Nigeria, illegal, is garnering momentum in the legal community. A human rights lawyer in Lagos, Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), unequivocally, declared that the Attorney General of the Federal Government has no powers to proscribe any group, insisting that the statement by the AGF and Minister of Justice declaring Amotekun unconstitutional is diversionary and hypocritical, noting that similar security structures exist in some states in the north without federal government condemnation or proscription.
Accordingly, Falana on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, contended that “In this case, the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federal Government is clearly diversionary and hypocritical. Hypocritical in the sense that the governments of Kano and Zamfara states have set up HISBAH Commission and just recently, the HISBAH operatives in Zamfara State arrested a police officer alleged to have been caught in the midst of three women.”
Falana further pointed out that in the northeast, there is civilian JTF made up of 26,000 volunteers armed to assist the military in waging the counter-insurgence operations.
The human rights lawyer also cited that in Lagos State, there is the neighborhood watch created by law, adding that it an organization that is working and assisting the Nigeria Police to tackle security challenges in the state.
Falana, therefore, protested that it is disturbing that the Attorney General of the Federal Government can say that his legal opinion was not sought, emphasising that there is no constitutional nexus between the Attorney General of the Federal Government and the state governments in that each state of the Federal Republic has its own Attorney General.
Falana stated that to talk of the Attorney General of the Federation is a misnomer, a carry-over from the military era. He clarified that Malami is the Attorney General of the Federal Government in Abuja while other states have their own Attorney Generals to advise the government.
He, therefore, affirmed that the AGF has no power to proscribe any organisation in Nigeria.