The federal government has described the newly launched south-west security outfit codenamed: “Amotekun”, as illegal.
Governors of the south-west states had said the group was established to tackle the rising cases of criminality in the region.
Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, had also made it clear that the outfit is not regional police.
There have been mixed reactions to the establishment of the group.
In a statement on Tuesday, Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, said security remains the exclusive preserve of the federal government.
Malami said governors lacked the right to float the outfit.
“The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called Amotekun is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law,” Malami said in the statement which Umar Gwandu, his spokesman, issued on his behalf.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the army, navy and air force, including the police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria.
“As a consequence of this, no state government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organisation or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts.
“This is sanctioned by the provision of Item 45 of the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) authorising the police and other Federal Government security services established by law to maintain law and order.”