Charles Omole, a global expert in law enforcement jurisprudence, has explained how the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) can be stopped from appointing a non-Christian into the management trustee of a Church.
Under section 839 (1) (a),(b),(c) of the recently signed Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA 2020), the supervising minister of the commission is empowered “to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons”.
The provision has been criticised by religious organisations who argue that it is vulnerable to “abuse, denial of fair hearing, arbitrariness and dubious use of power by the commission”.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Friday, advised the religious organisations who are aggrieved over CAMA 2020 and want a review to approach the National Assembly for amendment.
However, Omole who posited that the Act was not to persecute the church, counselled the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to prepare an implementation guideline for CAC to protect the church.
“There are a few things that are not clear in the law. For example, if you appoint interim managers over a church, who pays their salary, who pays their fees, the legislation is silent on that, is it the government that appointed them or is it the charity that they are overseeing?” he noted.
“Number 2, if you want to appoint an interim manager over AB church, do you appoint Alhaji AB as the interim manager for the church? You see where I’m coming from here, the law is blank on all these things.
“So there are sensitivities that have to be reflected here. So do you appoint an Alhaji to be the interim manager over AB church? I mean if they do that, it’s technically legal, but it is a senseless move. So there are things in the operational guidelines and implementation that CAC, corporate affairs commission, can bring out to allay a lot of fears here.”
The expert called on Nigerians should not to reject “a fairly good legislation because of a government is there that we don’t like”.
He added that a government that may be popular with the people in the future would benefit from the law.