NGO bill not necessary – Bishop Kukah tells House of Reps

NGO bill not necessary – Bishop Kukah tells House of Reps

- The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, faults the NGO bill

- CSO take over major roads in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to protest against the controversial NGO bill

- Nigerian human rights non-governmental organizations under the umbrella of the Human Rights Agenda Network drag the National Assembly to Federal High Court in Abuja over the NGO regulation bill

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah has opposed the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill which seeks to regulate the activities of civil society organisations (CSOs).

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The cleric stated that though that the bill might appear to have good intentions, Nigeria did not need it.

“The intentions of the bill may be right but we should channel our energy to other things,” he told the House of Representatives at the National Assembly complex in Abuja during a public hearing on the bill.

Premium Times reports that none of the persons who appeared before lawmakers on Wednesday expressed support for the bill to regulate non-governmental organisations, NGOs.

After the public hearing, the chairman of the committee, Peter Akpatason, assured Nigerians that he will present the recommendations of the committee to the House without bias.

He had earlier asked if there was any attendee ‎who was in support of the bill. There was none.

Meanwhile, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in Nigeria have taken over major roads in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to protest against the controversial NGO bill.

The groups are calling on the National Assembly to stop further deliberation on the bill complaining that it would violate their right to freedom of expression and peaceful association.

They have since filed a case in court against the bill in a Federal High Court in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

Order Paper reports that the groups stopped at some point during the protest to say a prayer. The former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, who is among those leading today's protest had described the bill as unnecessary.

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In a related report, Nigerian human rights non-governmental organizations under the umbrella of the Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN) dragged National Assembly to Federal High Court in Abuja over NGO regulation bill.

According to Sahara Reporters, in a suit filed on Friday, November 3, at the court, the plaintiffs, comprising of 23 of them sought an order of court to declare unconstitutional and unlawful the NGO regulation bill which has currently passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The groups urged the court to determine whether a judicial order can be made to stop the legislature from deliberating on a bill pending before it and if that is possible, an order stopping further deliberations on the NGO regulation bill, which the groups claim will violate their right to; freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and non-discrimination, as enshrined under sections 39, 40 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

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Source: Legit.ng

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