Global Rights Fumes Over Subjective Sections of Amended CAMA Act 2020

Kenny Folarin, Abuja

The Executive Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu has expressed concern over the subjective section (Part F) of the Amended Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, of Section 8(1)(C)which gives the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the powers to investigate the affairs of incorporated trustees and allows the government through the CAC to threaten the affairs and activities of civil society organisations.

Abiodun while speaking in Abuja on Thursday at a strategic meeting on the provision of “Part F” of the Amended Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 noted that there are so many subjective sections to the CAMA and this means that the CAC can at anytime step in as long as politically exposed people are not happy with the activities of civil society organizations.

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Abiodun noted that civil society are duty bound to collectively think about these issues and challenge them headlong.

According to the Act, Section 839, which vests the CAC with the powers to suspend the trustees of an association and appoint interim managers to run its affairs under the Commission’s supervision, “This is a flagrant attempt by the government to stifle the voices of civil society organisations”. Abiodun posited.

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Meanwhile, she advised that as the 2023 elections approaches, civil society must begin to ask political aspirants questions on what will become of the shrinking civic space and who will build a society where the voices of the society can be heard rather than surpressd.

Professor Chidi Odinkalu

Meanwhile, Professor of Practice in International Human Rights, Chidi Odinkalu stated that there has been a concerted, consistent and deliberate effort by the government to incapacitate civil society, render it so incapable that they do not become a force and alternative to political voices.

Explaining, Chidi said “So if we are in a situation where the political opposition is weak, the citizens are mostly popularized and improvised and therefore there concern is more about what they eat and the civil space of an active organized civic sector is itself endangered, organized labour is discredited and bereft of money, what we have is an authoritarian state”.

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He opined that civil society needs to be more conscious, more up-to-date and articulate a national agenda that is neither partisan nor parochial.

“The first thing that we need to do is to create a Nigerian Civil Society identity that transcends all these polarities and make us to confront the dangers that civil society faces because for me, we have got to recognize the issue that matters to our people.

“We have got to retrace our steps and do the job of advocating for a better society, involves personal credibility, institution credibility, connected to ideal if we want a Nigeria that can be trusted”. He added.

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