By Luminous Jannamike – Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Sunday, vowed to return to court in a bid to stop the Federal Government from implementing certain provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
Vanguard findings reveal that aside from the plan by the umbrella Christian body to file fresh suit against the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Minister of Trade and Investment, the leadership of CAN has called for mass prayers as they take the government up in a new legal battle.
Recall that Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, dismissed a previous suit by CAN over the failure of the Association (the plaintiff) to comply with the law in the name used in filing the originating summons.
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The Court held that the proper name of the Plaintiff is ‘The Registered Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria’ as stated on the Plaintiff’s Certificate of Incorporation as against ‘The Incorporated Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria’, and the Court was unable to allow the replacement of the name on the originating process.
Justice Inyang Ekwo stated that suing in the wrong name contrary to a statutory provision is statutory non-compliance and is not a mere misnomer to be corrected by the Court, as the court cannot re-write statutory provisions. Consequently, the suit was struck out.
However, CAN’s General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, said on Sunday that the organisation would not like to join issues with the Court by going on appeal, because “it would further delay the case.”
Accordingly, he said the religious body has decided to take the option of refiling the case.
“Our lawyers are currently preparing to institute a fresh suit using the proper name of the Plaintiff (CAN) as it is on the Certificate of Incorporation. This is the truth of the matter now. What happened in the court was just a temporary setback and by the grace of God, we have overcome it. Our prayers are for the unborn generations and nothing will discourage us from pursuing this case to the logical conclusion,” Daramola stated.
Amongst other reliefs, CAN would be asking the Court to determine “whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, is inconsistent with Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which guarantees the plaintiff’s right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court.
“Whether the provision of Section 854 of the CAMA is inconsistent with Section 39 of the CFRN which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.”
It would also be seeking: “An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) & (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.
“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void.
“An Order striking down Section 17 (2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”