Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Undertaking (SERAP) has requested President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind his assent to the Corporations and Allied Issues Act, 2020 [CAMA 2020].
The physique advised him to ship the laws again to the Nationwide Meeting to deal with its elementary flaws, together with removing of “repressive provisions notably sections 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 contained in Half F of the Act, and some other related provisions.”
“Please notice that SERAP has instructed its Authorized Counsel Femi Falana, SAN to take all applicable authorized actions on our behalf ought to your authorities fail and/or neglect to behave as requested”, a letter dated 22 August, 2020 warned.
Signed by deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP urged Buhari to instruct Registrar-Normal of the Company Affairs Fee (CAC), Garba Abubakar, and Legal professional Normal of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Abubakar Malami, to not implement the CAMA 2020 till the laws is repealed.
The rights group stated the CAMA regulation provides the federal government discretionary powers to arbitrarily withdraw, cancel or revoke the certificates of any affiliation, droop and take away trustees, take management of funds of any affiliation, and to merge two associations with out their consent and approval of their members.
“Fairly than taking concrete measures to enhance the authorized setting and civic house that might guarantee respect for human rights and media freedom, your authorities has constantly pursued initiatives to limit the enjoyment of residents’ human rights. These rights are protected against impairment by authorities motion.
“These restrictions, coupled with repressive broadcasting codes and Nigerian safety businesses’ relentless crackdown on peaceable protesters and civil society, exhibit the federal government’s intention to suppress and take over impartial associations.
“By in search of to droop and take away trustees, and appoint interim managers for associations, the federal government appears to need to place itself ready to politicise the mandates of such affiliation, and to undermine the concepts that the precise to freedom of affiliation and associated rights are supposed to guard in a democratic society,” it stated.
SERAP stated the federal government granting itself the powers to droop and take away trustees of legally registered associations and to take management of their financial institution accounts represent an efficient restraint on human rights.
The physique stated it considers the CAMA 2020, “essentially the most repressive laws in Nigeria’s historical past, particularly given the illegal and impermissible restrictions contained in Half 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 Structure of Nigeria 1999.”
Beneath part 831[i][ii], the federal government by means of the CAC is empowered to deal with any unregistered affiliation as a part of an already registered affiliation, and with none lawful justifications by any means.
The federal government additionally has the facility to deal with two or extra associations as a single affiliation if the associations have the identical trustees.
Part 839 and  of the Act additionally grants the federal government by means of the CAC the powers to droop and take away the trustees of any legally registered affiliation, and to nominate an interim supervisor or managers to run the affairs of any such affiliation, if CAC believes that there’s misconduct, mismanagement, and fraud within the affiliation, or on the premise of undefined public curiosity.
Sections 842, 843 and 844 grants the federal government by means of the Company Affairs Fee overly broad powers and discretion to arbitrarily, unlawfully and unilaterally regulate the funds of any affiliation, and to take management and take over financial institution accounts lawfully belonging to legally registered associations underneath Half F of the CAMA 2020.
Part 850[e] empowers the federal government by means of the Company Affairs Fee to arbitrarily and unilaterally withdraw, cancel or revoke the certificates of registration of any duly and legally registered affiliation.
“We’d be grateful if the requested motion and measures are taken inside 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.
“If we’ve not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all applicable authorized actions to compel you and your authorities to take these measures within the public curiosity”, SERAP advised Buhari.