The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has withdrawn the registration certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other socio-cultural groups in Nigeria.
Disclosing this at the weekend in Abuja, the Registrar General of CAC, Mr Garba Abubakar, said the measure was part of the reforms the Commission was putting in place to subject such applications to thorough scrutiny following security threats that may arise from such registrations.
The RG noted that the reforms are a measure put together to sanitise the Commission operations which lead to the recent withdrawal of the certificate of registration earlier issued to Ohaneze Ndigbo General Assembly.
He said: “Yes, we have withdrawn the certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly because the certificate should not have been issued in the first instance.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consistent with what the law says, and the trustees are fit and proper, then we will go ahead, but till then, we have withdrawn the certificate and they have threatened to go to court, we are lawyers, we will meet them in court.”
He also lamented at the proliferation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria including foreign ones, noting that such new organisations would have to secure the consent of the Registrar General of the Commission before allowing registration.
“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 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 objects of the association. 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,” he said.