CAMA 2020: Determine status of NGOs, charities in Nigeria, Lawyer tells court

CAMA 2020: Determine status of NGOs, charities in Nigeria, Lawyer tells court

Malcolm Omirhobo, a Lagos based rights activist, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to determine the status of Non-Government Organisations (NGO) and charities under the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.

 

Omirhobo is seeking an order of the court to strike out the entire provisions of sections 839(1)(a)(b)(c)(2)(3) (5)(a)(b)(7)(a)(10)(a)(b)(11) of the CAMA 2020, for being unjustifiable and unlawful.

 

The applicant who is suing with the Incorporated Trustees of Malcolm Omirhobo Foundation on Friday asked the court to declare that the said provisions of CAMA 2020 is without form and, therefore, illegal.

The suit is labelled FHC/ABJ/CS/1311/2020.

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Joined as respondents in the suit are the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the CAC Registrar, the Attorney General of the Federation and the National Assembly.

The applicant wants the court to decide whether the provisions of Section 839 of the CAMA 2020, which gives the CAC powers to suspend or remove trustees of Associations and Appoint an Interim Manager to manage their affairs, is in conflict with the provisions of Sections 36, 38, 40 and 45(1)(a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides among others, for the right to peaceful assembly and association.

He wants the court to decide whether there is a legal framework or regime for the establishment and operations of charities and NGOs in Nigeria, to warrant the exercise of the powers vested on the CAC by virtue of the provisions of Section 839 of CAMA 2020.

The plaintiff, therefore, seeks a declaration that the provisions of Section 839(1)(a)(b)(c)(2)(3) (5)(a)(b)(7)(a)(10)(a)(b)(11) and the entire Section 839 of the CAMA 2020 is in conflict with the provisions of Sections 36, 38, 40 and 45(1)(a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides for the fundamental rights to a fair hearing, freedom of thought, conscience and religion and right to peaceful assembly and association.

He also seeks a declaration that by the true letters of Section 839(1)(a)(b)(c)(2)(3) (5)(a)(b)(7)(a)(10)(a)(b)(11) of CAMA 2020 and the provisions of Sections 36, 38, 40 and 45(1)(a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, the powers conferred on the CAC to suspend or remove trustees and appoint an Interim Manager is lacking in form, legislation or legal framework and is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The plaintiff, consequently, seeks an order invalidating and expunging Section 839(1)(a)(b)(c)(2)(3) (5)(a)(b)(7)(a)(10)(a)(b)(11) or the entire provisions of Section 839 of the CAMA 2020 for want of form, or legal framework and for being unjustifiable, improper and unconstitutional.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the new suit.

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