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Falana: CAMA 2020 Violates Rights  

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There have been so much back and forth on the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA 2020 that have riled some religious organizations.

Now, activist lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana, and former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu are pointing out some provisions of the act they say grossly violate rights.

The two men say the new law arrogates too much power to the registrar-general of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC – power they say he could use to clamp down on civil society organizations.

Falana and Odinkalu were speaking during a virtual town-hall meeting on the act which was jointly organized by the European Union-act, the open society initiative for west Africa, working group on civil society regulatory environment, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, and the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.

Falana specifically pointed out section 389 of the law that gives CAC the power to suspend the board of trustees of an organization in crisis and appoint an interim committee to manage its affairs.  He also faults section 842 that gives CAC authority to take over funds in the bank accounts of an organization in crisis.  He says that provision translates to quote, “obtaining money by false pretense.”

Professor Odinkalu, in his own assessment, said part f of CAMA 2020 is a confused mixture, a “mish mash” of laws the country had borrowed from the United Kingdom.  He said those laws were hastily copied without the safeguards in the English law.

In response to the observations, representative of the CAC registrar-general, Justine Nidiya said further amendments to the law would serve as the forum to address the challenges.

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Nigerian Govt Releases N10bn For Local Vaccine Production

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The federal government is putting funds behind its call for local production of covid-19 vaccines.  The ministry of finance has released ten billion naira to support the effort and is exploring options to kick-start the vaccine production in Nigeria.

The government has also instructed each local government area in the country to conduct at least four hundred fifty covid-19 tests in line with its testing plans.

During the Monday briefing by the presidential task force on covid-19 in Abuja, health minister, Osagie Ehanire said the government was considering collaborative efforts with recognized institutions for vaccine production in the country.

He said the government is looking at ways to augment the one hundred thousand vaccine doses it would receive by the end of this month, the ten million doses it had requested from the African union, and the more than forty million doses from COVAX.  He says those would only cover one fifth of the population, but the government plans to cover an additional fifty percent of citizens.

The health minister says the ministry will hold a national vaccine conference in preparation for mobilizing experts, role players, development partners and stakeholders to deliberate on the nation’s COVID-19 response strategy, especially now that there is a spike in cases.

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Presidency Warns Akeredolu Over Herdsmen Quit Notice

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The presidency has warned Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, not to unilaterally order herdsmen out of Ondo forests.  The governor had issued an ultimatum this week to herdsmen to vacate state forest reserves.

Presidential special assistant, Garba Shehu said the governor should not oust the herders whom he said have lived their entire lives in the state on the guise of clearing the forest reserves of criminals.  He said terrorism and crimes should be separated from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion.

In response, governor Akeredolu says only unregistered Fulani herdsmen are being asked to vacate the state’s forest reserves.

State commissioner for information and orientation, Donald Ojogo, characterized Garba Shehu’s statement as “a brazen display of emotional attachment,” which he says is inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.

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FG Extends NIN Registration Deadline

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Nigerians can breathe easy for now as the federal government extends the registration deadline for National Identification Number, NIN.

Those who have not obtained the NIN would now have until February the ninth to tidy that up and link their numbers with their sims.

The National Identification Management Commission, NIMC, had initially given yesterday, January the nineteenth, as the deadline.

The commission warns the NIN enrolment is free.

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