Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali, has declared that the regional security outfit by the South-west governors, ‘Operation Amotekun’, which was recently launched, is legal and constitutional.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, during a special luncheon organised in honour of Professor Abdullateef Oladimeji, deputy vice chancellor of Al-Hikma University, Ilorin, who has been elevated to the status of professorship of the institution, Ali said: “There was nothing wrong with the formation of the security outfit in the region since it is meant to protect their lives and property.”
According to him, “Operation Amotekun was not the first security outfit to be floated in the country, and I wonder why there is so much noise about an outfit that is out to protect lives and property of the citizens.”
He called on Nigerians not to politicise something that has to do with our lives, saying it should be assisted and supported to ensure that people live in a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.
Ali added: “I was the lawyer who defended the setting up of Hisba in Kano State during the administartion of President Olusegun Obasanjo, even some of the officers of the Hisba who were charged to court were discharged and acquitted by the court base on our argument that it was not unconstitutional, and up till now, Hisba is still functioning well in Kano state.
“I don’t see the hues and cries about Amotekun; I don’t see anything spectacular about it. In any event, this outfit exists in many parts of Nigeria with different names such as Vigilante, Joint Task Force (JTF) among other.
“I don’t think we should politicise something that has to do with our lives and property. Nobody is happy about the level of insecurity in the country.”
While reacting to the ‘legality or illegality’ of Operation Amotekun by not passing through legislative processes, Ali said: “Law is made for man not man made for law, even Hisba was challenged by the federal government that they didn’t make any progress out of it at the time of its establishment.
“We have been told by several people that we don’t have adequate police in Nigeria which is part of the reasons we are having insecurity problems. I think everyone who wants to do anything to assist our country should be assisted and supported. The issue if insecurity is very important.”
Meanwhile, he described the celebrant, Professor Abdulateef Oladimeji, as a childhood friend and amiable Islamic scholar with whom he has been relating with since their secondary school days.