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PFN, CSOs fault, want urgent review of CAMA

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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has expressed reservations with certain provisions in the Company and Allied Matters Acts (CAMA) 2020 recently assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Specifically, the body faulted Section 839(1) (a), (b), (C) in the Acts, arguing they run contrary to Section 6(6) and Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In a statement yesterday by the National President of PFN, Dr Felix Omobude, the body said: “We believe that these provisions, among others, leave the door open to abuse, denial of fair hearing, arbitrariness and dubious use of power by the commission and/or its agents.”

It expressed concerns over the recourse to “the vague and nebulous phrase “public interest” as grounds for taking over a non-governmental organisation by the commission and/or its agents, contrary to Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The PFN called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to repeal the “offensive parts in the legislation.”
MEANWHILE, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), under the banner of Action Group on Free Civic Space (AGFCS), also called on the Federal Government to urgently review the newly-introduced Act.

In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, the coalition expressed concerns about several provisions of the new law, which “hold enormous potential” to restrict the civic space.
Leading the 32 signatories to the statement are Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri of Spaces For Change (S4C), Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Philip Jakpor of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation, and Emmanuel Ikule of NOPRIN Foundation.

The group, however, lauded the efforts of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at introducing legal reforms to ease the processes for running the affairs of corporate bodies and tackle corporate governance challenges.

While noting that the recent revision to CAMA was reminiscent of the prescriptions of the rested 2016 NGO Bill sponsored by Umar Jibril, which aimed to interfere with NGO assets, it argued that “the duplicity of roles and overlapping regulatory powers hamper the development of democratic processes by encouraging the waste of scarce public funds, weakening existing institutions and creating excessively complicated administrative procedures for law enforcement.”


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