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SERAP urges Buhari to revoke assent to CAMA

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently rescind his assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, [CAMA 2020] and send the legislation back to the National Assembly.

SERAP said the advice “is necessary to address fundamental flaws, including deleting the repressive provisions of the Act, particularly sections 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 contained in Part F, and any other similar provisions.”

The group also urged President Buhari to “instruct the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), not to implement or enforce the CAMA 2020 until the legislation is repealed by the National Assembly, and brought in line with the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations.”

In an open letter to the president dated August 22, 2020 and signed by the Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP noted that “with these provisions, the government now has overly broad and discretionary powers to arbitrarily withdraw, cancel or revoke the certificate of any association, suspend and remove trustees, take control of finances of any association, and to merge two associations without their consent and approval of their members.”

According to SERAP, “Rather than taking concrete measures to improve the legal environment and civic space that would ensure respect for human rights and media freedom, your government has consistently pursued initiatives to restrict the enjoyment of citizens’ human rights. These rights are protected from impairment by government action.”

The group also stated that these restrictions, coupled with repressive broadcasting codes and Nigerian security agencies’ relentless crackdown on peaceful protesters and civil society, demonstrate the government’s intention to suppress and take over independent associations.

SERAP expressed concerns that the provisions would be used by the authorities to exert extensive scrutiny over the internal affairs of associations, as a way of intimidation and harassment, which would eventually unduly obstruct the legitimate work carried out by the associations.


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