Facts first: Whatever else he could be blamed for, President Muhammadu Buhari can’t be held responsible for the enactment of the Company and Allied Matters Act, CAMA, 2020.
To do otherwise would amount to stretching the facts in perverse directions, evident as they are. But first to the controversy that has arisen around the Act. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, issued over the course of last week a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to either repeal or send back to the National Assembly for necessary amendment the CAMA 2020. This Act was accorded presidential assent about three weeks ago. It is an updated version of the same Act that was promulgated into law in 2004.
SERAP’s grievance is that sections of the updated Act, specifically sections 839 through to sections 844, 845 and 850, are defective by the very reason that they are repressive, duplicative of extant laws and run contrary in several instances to sections of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and human rights activist, has the authorization of SERAP to sue Abuja in the event it fails to accede to SERAP’s demands within the stipulated deadline.
Many Nigerians, especially Christian religious leaders, have made very loud murmurs against sections of CAMA that allow the government to change and, where necessary, appoint interim managers to replace the board of trustees of businesses and NGOs, which by definition include churches and mosques that violate the regulations establishing them.