CAN drags minister, CAC to court over new CAMA law

eeba christian association of nigeria logo
eeba christian association of nigeria logo

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has dragged the Minister of Industry, Trade and Industry before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, where it is seeking the striking down of some sections of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

Also joined in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2022 is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Become a partner with USA companies, promote their offers and get paid in US Dollars weekly, Nigerians are earning about $465 weekly. Click here to see how you too can get paid .

A hearing in the suit has been fixed for June 20 by Justice Inyang Ekwo, after counsel to the plaintiff Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN, informed the court that all the court processes, including the Originating Summons, have been filed and served on the defendants.

CAN specifically frowned at sections 839 (1) & (2) of the law, which empowers the Corporate Affairs Commission to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church).

According to the new law, ‘Section 839 (1) empowers the Commission to suspend trustees of an association and appoint interim managers to manage the affairs of the association where it reasonably believes that (a) There is or has been misconduct, mismanagement in the administration of the association.’

The senior lawyer prayed the court for a date for adoption of the processes filed.

Counsel to the first defendant (CAC) Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, also informed the court that he had filed a notice of Preliminary Objection to the plaintiff’s Originating Summons and a written address.

After hearing the submissions of counsel in the matter, except for the second defendant, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, which was not represented in court, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter till June 20 for a hearing of both the Preliminary Objection and the substantive matter.

The judge also ordered that a hearing notice be served on the second defendant to make representation in court on the matter.

The Association, in its Originating Summons, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2022, wants the court to determine, “Whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 and regulations 28-30 of the Companies Regulations (CRs), 2021 are inconsistent with Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which guarantees the plaintiff’s right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court.

‘Whether the provision of Section 854 of the CAMA is inconsistent with Section 39 of the constitution which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.

100% Natural Herbs to Finally End Premature Ejaculation, Weak Erection and Small Manhood. >>>Click Here for Details

Advertisement
.

‘Whether sections 842 (1) and (2) and 843 of the CAMA are inconsistent with sections 37 and 44 of the constitution which guarantees the right to privacy and compulsory acquisition and whether sections 839(1), (7)(a) and (10), section 842(1), (2), sections843, 851 and 854 are inconsistent with section 251(1)(e) and (3) of the CFRN and thus unconditional, null and void, among others.’

Part of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff includes “A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA and sections 28-30 of the are inconsistent with Section 40 of the constitution and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

‘A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 4(8) of the constitution and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

‘A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA and regulations 28-30 of the constitution have a direct effect on the judicial power of the Federal High Court under Section 6(6) (b) of the constitution and are therefore void.

‘An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) and (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.

‘A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) and (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void and for being impracticable and unknown to Law.’

The plaintiff also wants an order of perpetual injunction restraining and barring the defendants, whether acting by themselves or through any of their agents, privies, proxies, affiliates, subsidiaries or any person or entity whatsoever from doing or carrying out any act or making any pronouncement or taking any step to give effect t or implementing and/continuing with any act to implement the provisions of sections 17(2) (a) and (d), 839(1), 842(1) and (2), 842(1) and (2), 842, 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA against it or it’s agents as mentioned in Article 4 of its constitution, to prevent further contravention of the provisions of sections 4(8), 6(6)(b), 251(1)(e) and 251(3) of the 1999 Constitution.

The plaintiff, in an affidavit, averred that if CAC is allowed to suspend its Trustees and appoint interim managers to manage its affairs, it will be usurping its powers under the constitution and the powers of the standing committee and the plenary session which would not be in line with the constitution.

The CAC had, in its Preliminary Objections, opposed the suit filed against it by CAN.

It argued that: ‘The Registered Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria;” as a non-juristic person, was unknown to law to institute and maintain the action.

‘The plaintiff is not an entity registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act and not one otherwise recognised as being vested with statutory rights of incorporation and bereft of the requisite locus standi, legal capacity or competence to sue and maintain this action against the 1st defendant.’

Advertisement