A conglomeration of non-governmental organisations under the aegis of Action Group On Free Civic Space (AGOFCS) has said the amended Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) enacted recently was punitive and capable of crippling associations and organisations.
The group also alleged that CAMA was targeted at stultifying particular organisations in order to favour others.
Speaking at a press briefing in Enugu on Wednesday, Regional Coordinator AGOFCS, Emmanuel Acha, said the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) power to investigate fraud, misconduct and mismanagement of an association and to suspend trustees of any association as well as the takeover to appoint interim managers and administrators thereby, was a duplication of roles of anti-graft agencies such as Special Unit Against Money Laundering and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Acha also said the legal additions to CAMA law, “create the potential for regulatory capture.”
“When that happens, the Commission could hide under the cloak of omnibus clauses like public interest to target particular organisations and divert their asserts to other favoured associations.”
He noted that as much as they are not against the government regulating their activities, the government should not interfere to the extent of appointing or sacking trustees of a given organisation or association.
He also noted that the motive of coming up with amendment of the 1990 CAMA could be to check terrorism and money laundering but pointed out that does not warrant outright direct interference with the activities of organisations as this will mitigate against their fundamental human right.
“The fixation on sacking an association’s trustees and taking over the administration or management of an association’s property and bank credits is deeply worrying. The entirety of Section 839 (6) represents a new form of eminent domain.”
The group is made up of 32 independent nongovernmental organisations.