By Felix Khanoba
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says Ohaneze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other similar socio-cultural groups cannot be registered by the Commission without getting the necessary clearance from security agencies in the country.
Registrar General of CAC, Mr Garba Abubakar, said the Commission took the decision to subject such applications to thorough scrutiny following security threats that may arise from such registrations.
Abubakar stated this in Abuja at the weekend while speaking on the reforms put in place in the Commission to sanitise its operations as well as the recent withdrawal of certificate of registration earlier issued to Ohaneze Ndigbo General Assembly .
He said: “Yes, we have withdrawn the certificate of Ohaneze Ndigbo General Assembly because the certificate should not have been issued in the first instance.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, Ohaneze 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, 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consistent with what the law says, and the trustees are fit and proper, then we will go ahead, but till then, we have withdrawn the certificate.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.”
The CAC boss, who also frowned at the proliferation of f Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country including foreign ones, said henceforth, such new organisations would have to secure his consent before they are registered.
“The security agencies have been raising concerns, and you will agree with me that some organisations are purely political. we don’t register political association, some in their activities constitute a threat to national security, so we took the decision that every application we 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 objects of the association. The application will be scrutinised and recommendation will be made to the Registrar General and it is only the approval of the Registrar General that the name will be approved,” he said.
The RG also listed the other reforms in the CAC to include the ban on manual search and the introduction of a mailing system which sees pre-incorporation certificates are delivered to customers through courier companies.
He said the mailing system, which began in Abuja on Friday, has put to an end the regular visit of customers to the Commission’s office.