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Sagay, Badejo: Malamis position surprising, discriminatory

Published by The Nation on Thu, 16 Jan 2020

By Joseph JibuezePresidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Chairman Prof Itse Sagay (SAN) on Wednesday disagreed with Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) that Operation Amotekun is illegal.Also on Wednesday, a lawyer and one-time Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Dr Babafemi Badejo, said Malamis position was discriminatory.Sagay said: The position of the AGF is a bit of a surprise to me. The question to ask is: Was Amotekun set up as a police force' If it is not, there is no basis at all for declaring it illegal.Under the Constitution, the first responsibility of a government is security. That responsibility is shared between the President and the governors. There is nothing exclusive about it.Read Also:Amotekun: Ooni, Soyinka, Akeredolu, Makinde kickIf a governor wants to enhance the security of his people through an organisation that can detect what is going wrong, arrest and inform the Police, especially in dealing with the sort of things were experiencing, then there is nothing illegal about it.As you know, every individual even has a right to arrest if he is suspicious of anyone committing a crime. It is an individual.So, there is nothing strange in having people exercising their right collectively for more effectiveness.Its all for the good of the country to improve our security generally. I expect it to be supported by all, even at the federal level.Sagay said Southwest governors could pass laws to back Amotekun, although he does not think it is mandatory.Thats not a bad idea. I dont think that the absence of law actually affects the legality of the outfit.But it will help in the sense that they will have some legal reference point. Its always safer to have that sort of legal backing, so I would support that, he said.For Dr Badejo, a consultant to the African Union (AU), other states had set up similar outfits, such as Plateaus Operation Rainbow.He said even the Federal Government engaged private security outfits for pipeline surveillance.So, it is a surprise that the AGF declaredOperation Amotekunillegal, using the exclusive right of the Federal Government to provide security for Nigeria or any part of it.Why the discrimination against a geopolitical zone' Is it that whats good for the goose is not good for the gander'As Governor Kayode Fayemi pointed out, Section 14 of the Constitution gives the duty to provide security to the government, which terminology the Constitution also defined as federal, state and local governments.More importantly, the inherent right to self-defence has been an inalienable right of every human being at the individual level.Self-help by states in the face of a nonperforming central government is known to the law, Dr Badejo said.
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