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Zainab Sanni

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has filed a suit before an Abuja High Court to challenge the legality of the Corporate and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

CUPP spokesman, Ugochinyere Ikenga, who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja, on Wednesday alleged that the new legislation is a ploy to hijack religious bodies.

Ikenga noted that while the opposition agreed that some religious organisations may not have lived up to expectations,  the clauses in the Act, which affects religious group could be politicised by government.

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He said; “This new law and how the mysterious sections which attack the very sacred foundations of God-given right to freedom of worship, association and speech alongside the right of believers to have their spiritual leaders and their doctrine sacredly pursued is a shock to the opposition family. We agree that there is need for regulation of activities of religious groups, but that can be done by enacting laws for religious self regulatory bodies like professional bodies self-regulate and not a direct take over and subjugation of the Christian and Muslim bodies and their outfits under the control of government and a political party member. The new CAMA  should have expressly exempted religious bodies and immune them from the control of a minister of trade and CAC which can be easily influenced politically.”

Ikenga explained that in the suit,  the opposition wants the court to determine, among other issues,  “whether by the combined effect of Sections 1 (1) and (2), 6(6)(a) and (b) as well as Sections 38, 39 and 40 of the  Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; the provisions of Section 839 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 can constitutionally and validly operate to suspend or appoint interim manager(s) and/or impose any other restrictions upon, over or in respect of the incorporated trustees, assets, property or affairs of any association registered thereunder, such rights having been guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.”

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