Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has described as discriminatory the position of the the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), on the legality of Western Nigerian Security Network code-named “Amotekun.”
Malami had on Tuesday condemned the setting up of the outfit declaring it illegal.
But Falana who was the moderator at the 16th Annual Gani Fawehinmi Lecture, with the theme, “Federalism and the Judiciary in Nigeria, said that Malami was not fair to the southwest since he had not condemned the operations of similar outfits , Hisbah and Civilian Joint Task Force in the north.
“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.
“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 said.