Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to go court if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to address fundamental flaws, including removal of “repressive provisions particularly sections 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 contained in Part F of the new Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 [CAMA 2020].
SERAP urged Buhari to instruct Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Garba Abubakar, and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Abubakar Malami, not to implement the CAMA 2020 until the legislation is repealed.
The group in a statement signed by its Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, said the CAMA law gives the government 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.
“By seeking to suspend and remove trustees, and appoint interim managers for associations, the government seems to want to place itself in a position to politicise the mandates of such association, and to undermine the ideas that the right to freedom of association and related rights are supposed to protect in a democratic society,” it said.
SERAP said the government granting itself the powers to suspend and remove trustees of legally registered associations and to take control of their bank accounts constitute an effective restraint on human rights.
The body said it considers the CAMA 2020, “the most repressive legislation in Nigeria’s history, especially given the unlawful and impermissible restrictions contained in Part F of the Act. Sections 831, 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 of the Act are manifestly inconsistent with sections 36, 39 and 40 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999.”
“Please note that SERAP has instructed its Legal Counsel Femi Falana, SAN to take all appropriate legal actions on our behalf should your government fail and/or neglect to act as requested. If we have not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel you and your government to take these measures in the public interest”, SERAP told Buhari.