MY TAKE ON THE SECURITY OUTFIT “AMOTEKUN”
The whole duty of government is to protect lives, properties and its citizenry. The essence of establishing AMOTEKUN as security outfit in the South West Nigeria cannot be said to be against the law.
Security of lives and properties cannot be positively and exclusively said to be the duty of Federal Government of Nigerian alone. It is imperative and very essential in this era of insecurity to rely on other means in which lives and properties of every Nigerian will be saved. We should begin to rely more and more on ourselves so that those who feel the pain are those who try to take control of the security situation. It is to the knowledge of an average Nigerian that the number of Nigerian Police Force are few, you have about 250,000 police men and women in a country of almost 200 million and in so far the number of the police men are not up to, regional security institutions are imperatively necessary.
The law made it clear that a private citizen also may in certain circumstance prosecute persons who have committed a crime. Thus, this in part V of the criminal code section 275 which provide as follows “it is lawful for any person who witnesses a breach of the peace to interfere, prevent the continuance or renewal of it and to use such force as is reasonably necessary for such prevention and is necessarily proportioned to the danger to be apprehended from such continuance or renewal and to detain any person who is committing or who is about to join in or to renew the breach of the peace for such times as may be reasonably necessary in order to give in into the custody of a peace officer or police officer”.
Section 214 and 215 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended mandates the police as an agency responsible for the protection of lives and properties. This does not deter the governor from taking further measure to reinforce protections of citizens and the traffic wardens.
Section 20 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) allows a private citizen to arrest any criminal and hand him over to the police for investigation and prosecution.
Also, in section 272 and 273 of the criminal code reveals that a person may arrest a person who has committed an offense and prevent his escape.
Neither the constitution of Nigeria in section 214 to 216 nor the Police Act [1967 No. 41.]in section 10 gives the police any exclusive duty to secure lives and properties, also in section 272 to 275 gives right of citizens to arrest any person for committing an offence and by so doing is legal and may be exercised individually or communally.
In any event, regional security outfit known as AMOTEKUN cannot be set aside by oral pronouncement by the Attorney General of the federation or any other body except and only the court of law is competent enough to declare it illegal.
I am of the opinion that the police should cooperate with (AMOTEKUN) and help their training. It is also important to arm them so that we can have more hands and local men involved in security.
What the governors have done is what individuals and neighborhood can legally do to secure their live and property.
I humbly submit that the assertion of Attorney general of the federation in the person of Mr. Malami further exposed Nigeria as a country under command, control and governed by conquest mentality which is ab-initio against democratic system of government.
It is important as a Nigerian to know that it is the duty of court/ judiciary to interpret the law. It is on this hand that I conclusively believe that Mr. Malami cannot make law in his office and what is expected of him is to go to court to challenge the governors’ decision in establishing AMOTEKUN as he cannot constitute himself into a court over elected governors. We are not under military regime.
It has come to our knowledge that there is a security outfit in Kano called HISBAH Police which has been in Operation for a long period of time and also THE CIVILIAN JOINT TASK FORCE in the North East of Nigeria whose duties and responsibility is to provide security for lives and properties and such agency which has been in operation for quite a long period of time has not and never been criticized.
How come the establishment of AMOTEKUN is now bringing issues before the federal government?
Adeola Babatunde Esq LLB(LON), BL, LLM.(LON)
Barrister and Solicitor
Supreme Court of Federal Republic of Nigeria