BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) said it has withdrawn the registration certificates of some major socio-cultural groups and associations such as the Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) among others.
This is coming on the heels of the Department of State Services saying that some groups are planning to destabilize the country.
The Registrar General of the CAC, Mr Garba Abubakar, who announced this on Monday, explained that applications from such organisations need to be put through scrutiny following security threats that may arise.
The CAC Registrar General decried the proliferation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria including foreign ones, adding that such organisations would have to secure the consent of the Registrar General of the Commission before allowing registration.
Abubakar said; “Yes, we have withdrawn the certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly because the certificate should not have been issued in the first instance. We have an established protocol that all organisations; ethnic, religious with political implication should be referred for security clearance before such organisations are registered. “In 2017, a similar organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide applied to be registered and security agencies rejected it. It would have been a double standard to allow another organisation to be registered.
“Up till now, Arewa Consultative Forum is not registered because they were not given security clearance. We have South-South Youth Forum, NorthEast Youth Forum and so many organisations that have not been allowed to register.
“What we have done after withdrawing the certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, we now referred the application for security clearance. If at the end of the day we are advised that this object is consistent with what the law says, and the trustees are fit and proper, then we will go ahead, but till then, we have withdrawn the certificate and they have threatened to go to court, we are lawyers, we will meet them in court”.
Abubakar noted that security agencies have been raising some concerns, adding that some of the organisations are purely political thus do not fall within the ambit of registration by the CAC.
He further said; “Some of their activities constitute threat to national security. So, we took the decision that every application will be properly scrutinised to the level of Registrar General, so the applicant must submit an application of consent by providing the names of trustees, the objectives of the organisation.
“The application will be scrutinised and recommendation will be made to Registrar General and it is only the approval of the Registrar General that the name will be approved”.