The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has dragged the Federal Government before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, challenging the legality of Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA) that empowers the apex government to determine religious bodies administrative activities.
In the suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/244/2021 filed by the Christian body, the Incorporated Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria, the Corporate Affairs Commission as well as the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment were listed as defendants.
At the mention of the case, the plaintiff counsels led Joe-Kyari Gadzama appeared before the court in readiness to challenge the central government over the new law that replaced the previous law that had been in existence for over 30 years.
Other legal practitioners accompanying CAN before the court were Prof J. Amupitan, Wale Adesokan, Isaac Okpanachi, Comfort Otera Chigbue, Godswill Iyoke, Dr. Cyril Obika, Geraldine Mbah, Francis Oronsaye, Oluniyi Adediji.
Others included Charles Ndukwe, Emmanuel Ekong, Darlington Onyekwere, Madu Joe-Kyari Gadzama, Lama Joe-Kyari Gadzama, Rev Fr. Joseph Ilorah, Jerry Onbugadu Musa, and Amazing Ikpala.
Individuals include Senator Jonathan Zwingina, Senator Philip Gyunka, General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, Kunle Fagbemi, Tunde Adegbesan, Rev Dr Testimony Onifade, the Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Comfort Chigbue
According to the statement released by the body yesterday, all attempts to convince the Federal government why it should not intervene or interfere with the management of the Church in the country through any of its agencies failed.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in response to agitation, signed the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 last August, replacing the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.
Following the presidential assent last year, prominent bodies including CAN and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) asked President Buhari to rescind his assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.
While SERAP requested Buhari to send the legislation back to the National Assembly to address its fundamental flaws, CAN rejected piece of legislation, saying churches cannot be controlled by the Nigerian government.