CAMA: Osinbajo Has Message For Pastors

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The Nigerian Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has responded to pastors’ agitation on the recently established Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 advising them to pass their anger to the right channel.

Osinbajo who is also a pastor at the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) said the aggrieved pastors have the fundamental rights as citizens of Nigeria to write a proposal to the National Assembly in request for an amendment.

Speaking during the ongoing Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference on Thursday, he explained that in a democratic system of government, due protocols are meant to be observed.

“What can be done is that, whatever the proposal for amendment may be, whatever the views of the leadership of the church may be, regarding the question of how the trustees, whether they are interim trustees or not, can be put in the form of a proposal that will be taken to the National Assembly for consideration for an amendment to the law, that is the process which is entirely opened and ought to be pursued.”

“We are in a democracy and there is a process by which things can be done and that process is the one where you bring forward amendments to the National Assembly and they will do whatever is considered useful in the circumstance,” He said.

Explaining further, the Vice-President reiterated that the CAMA law was not enacted to attack religious houses but massive legislation that covers a wide range of issues on companies, general meetings, the appointment of directors.

However, the new law gives the supervising minister the power to remove the board of trustees of churches without recourse to the court.

“it is a massive legislation that covers a wide range of issues on companies, general meetings, appointment of directors, etc. Now, there is a small portion of it called the Incorporated Trustees Section, that small section of it is the section that regulates charities.

“Churches, Mosques, and church organizations are regarded as charities. It is the Incorporated Trustees Section of the Companies and Allied Matters Act that has become controversial. And because churches are charities, the provisions in the incorporated trustees section obviously affect the churches.”

“What the Churches are concerned about is a provision that says that in the event that some wrong-doing is found to be perpetrated by the trustees of the particular organization or Church, the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) can go to court and get an order to appoint interim administrators or interim trustees for the Church or whichever charity organization and manage the organization.”

“The concern of the Churches is that it could lead to a situation where practically anybody could be appointed as a trustee to oversee the Church and a Church or a Mosque is a spiritual organization and if you do not share the same faith with the Church or Mosque, you may be the wrong person and if a wrong is appointed, you may create more trouble for the organization.”

Top Nigeria Pastors that kicked against establishment of CAMA 2020

Many Pastors have raised their concerns on the establishment of Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 as they said the law is another government’s strategy to interfere in the affairs of churches.

Founder and Bishop of the megachurch Faith Tabernacle and Living Faith Church Worldwide, Winners’ Chapel,  Bishop David Oyedepo said that the Federal Government to expunge the part of the newly-signed amended Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020.

“In the document, they said the registrar-general can remove the trustees without recourse to the court. Don’t try it. This must be from somebody who woke up from the wrong side of the bed after dreaming. The person must have drafted that aspect in the bill as their custom is.

“I am 51 years old in this thing (Christianity), don’t try it. I have been with Jesus for some time and I am sent as a prophet to nations. That a minister can remove the trustees and close the accounts of the church is.”

Another group, Christian Rights Agenda, has urged churches in Nigeria not to comply with the law however describing it  “an anti-Christ law from the pit of hell”

The Christian body, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

CAN specifically described Section 839 (1) and (2) of the law as “satanic.”

 

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