Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly (ONGA) Worldwide led by Basil Onyeachonam Onuorah has carpeted the decision of Federal Government to register socio-cultural groups in the country.
He was reacting to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC’s) deregistration of Ohaneaze General Assembly, Arewa Consultative Forum and Afenifere, among others, over alleged errors in registration documents and security lapses.
In a statement issued by CAC’s Registrar General, Garba Abubakar, the commission announced that it had deregistered Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly and other socio-cultural organisations as part of reforms to ensure that such registrations passed security checks.
“We have an established protocol that all ethnic and religious organisations with political undertones should be referred for security clearance before they are registered.
“In 2017, the Nnia Nwodo-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo applied for registration, which security agencies rejected, but after deregistering the Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, CAC referred the application for security clearance.
“If we are advised that this is consistent with the law and the trustees are fit and proper, then we will go ahead, but till then, we have withdrawn the certificate and they have threatened to go to court. We are lawyers and we will meet them in court,” he said.
But in a swift reaction, Onuorah said, “Only the courts can deregister an association under Part C, as stipulated in section 608 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990, as amended.”
He dismissed Federal Government’s statement, describing it as laughable adding that CAC’s Registrar was “speaking out of ignorance, I sincerely doubt if he is a lawyer as he claimed.”
He added, “The CAC does not have the powers to deregister an organisation after Certificate of Incorporation has been issued. Its Registrar General should be educated on the provisions of the CAMA 1990 as amended.
“In the case marked:FHC/ABC/CS/790/2020 and all parties are required by law to maintain the status quo as the matter was already in court. The court processes have been served to the CAC and we challenge Abubakar to meet us in court,” he stated.
Onuorah lamented that the development was unfortunate adding, “Where lawyers are protesting publicly against the CAC on several issues, it is a clear indication that the commission does not know its job as stipulated by law.
He, therefore, advised all members of ONGA to ignore CAC’s claims and continue with their activities pending the determination of the matter.