CAMA 2020: New legislation violates rights of Nigerians, says Falana, activists

CAMA 2020: New legislation violates rights of Nigerians, says Falana, activists

- Femi Falana has faulted a lot of sections of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020

- The senior lawyer and activist claimed that the new legislation violates the rights of Nigerians

- Falana also stated that the law clamps down on civil society organisations in the country

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Two prominent Nigerian human rights activists, Femi Falana and Chidi Odinkalu, a former National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman, have kicked against sections of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.

Both Falana and Odinkalu on Wednesday, September 23, vehemently rejected some provisions of the legislation on the grounds that they violate the fundamental rights of not just Nigerians but also reduced the freedom of civil society organisations, The Nations reports.

At a virtual town-hall meeting, with the theme: CAMA 2020: Regulation or Repression, Falana noted that section 389 of the law empowers the CAC to disband the Board of Trustees (BoT) of an organisation in crisis and appoint an interim committee in its place.

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CAMA 2020: New legislation violates rights of Nigerians, activists, Falana
Femi Falana (Photo credit: Premium Times)
Source: UGC

Also, the SAN faulted Section 842 that gives the CAC powers to take over the funds of an institution in crisis, arguing that this invariably means “obtaining money by false pretence”.

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Even more, the famed lawyer, having studied Section 851 of the law, faulted it for empowering the CAC to set up an administrative proceedings committees, headed by the registrar general to resolve internal disputes in any group in question.

He said:

“The organisation has been registered with its constitution; the Registrar General of the CAC has no power to throw away the constitution incorporated with the organisation.
“The Administrative Proceedings Committee will be headed by the Registrar General of the CAC; so, he is going to be the accuser, the prosecutor and also the judge to decide who is wrong or right.

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"He is also going to be empowered to impose penalties on any organisation who fails to file returns. These powers are draconian.”

On his part, Odinkalu referred to part F of the law as a “mish-mash” of legislations unduly adopted from the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, many Nigerians and groups in the country had reacted negatively to the law enacted by the federal government.

One of such organisations that have fiercely rejected the act was the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which has referred to the business legislation as a timebomb and satanic in nature.

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