Experts urge FG to support creation of regional security outfits
Say Amotekun’s constitutionality settled in 2005
Until the six geopolitical zones of the country establish their separate security outfits like the Amotekun in the South West, Nigeria may continue to witness kidnappings, banditry and insurgencies, some experts have said.
The experts, including Ayokunle Fagbemi of Ceritas University and a former General Secretary of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), Owei Lakemfa, made the submission during an online edition of a roundtable on “Amotekun: Democratisation or regionalisation of security in Nigeria” which was organised by the Centre for Peace and Development (CEPAD) with support from Rosa Luxemburg West Africa.
They faulted the labeling of Amotekun as an illegal organisation by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), saying the government’s position had been contested in a case between the AGF and Anambra State at the Supreme Court in 2005.
According to them, the declaration by the Federal Government through the AGF that Amotekun runs contrary to constitutional provisions and is therefore illegal remains to be tested in the highest court of the land.
The experts said that in the AGF versus Anambra case, the Supreme Court held that: “The Constitution in section 215 subsection (1) clearly gives the Governor of Anambra State the power to issue lawful direction to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State in connection with securing public safety and order in the state.”
Lakemfa argued that the emergence of Amotekun in the security landscape of Nigeria could be attributed to the failure of the Federal Government to provide adequate security of lives and property in the country, as well as the imperative for the state governors to protect and defend their people against criminality.
He maintained that Amotekun signalled the glaring failure of a dysfunctional unitary system and the instinctive need for the constituent parts to hold together, rather than risk being overrun by terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal non-state actors.
To both Lakemfa and Fagbemi, the emergence of Amotekun is a manifestation of the continued efforts of the political leaders in the South West towards enhancing security of lives and property which falls under the spirit of democratization and regionalization of security in Nigeria.
A communique which was issued at the end of the conference called on the Federal Government to embrace the emergence of regional security in Nigeria in the spirit of democratization, especially in the light of the shortcomings of the present security architecture to secure lives and properties of Nigerians.
The webinar also said the Federal Government should, as a matter of national urgency, take steps to enlighten Nigerians on the legal framework of the security structure of Nigeria in view of the emergence of Amotekun which has come to stay.
The communique, which was signed by the Director, Centre for Peace and Development (CEPAD), Rev. Fr. Dr. Innocent Jooji, also called on the National Assembly and the judiciary to put in place a mechanism to address possible instances of abuse by personnel of such regional security outfits.