PRESS STATMENT: “No CAN Official Attended Shettima’s Unveiling” – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) dissociates itself from the unveiling of the Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima; as those who were presented as church leaders are unknown clerics who are not part of the association.

We are shocked, disappointed and worried about the desperation of some politicians who once claimed Christians do not matter in governance and politics who went to hire some unknown ‘Bishops, Pastors and Priests’ to impersonate the leadership of CAN in their political meeting.

This is totally unacceptable, reprehensible, unprecedented and ungodly. If they are saying Christians have no electoral values why impersonating them in their meetings?

We are throwing  their principals and sponsors  into the court of conscience. These actions  of theirs have shown who they are to the public and what they are capable of doing to us all.

We are asking political parties not to ignore religious sensibilities and sensibilities of the people especially in today’s Nigeria when Christians are becoming endangered species daily. Our quest is within the constitutional requirements and ignoring it is akin to trampling on the Constitution especially the Federal Character Act.

At the fullness of time, we will direct our members nationwide on how to use their PVCs come 2023.

Signed: Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola (General Secretary, CAN)

Press Statement: The Brutal Murder Of Madam Fatima, Children Unacceptable – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned, in strong terms, the gruesome murder of Lady Fatima and her Four innocent children by some “unknown gunmen”, and demands for justice as it calls on security agencies to fish out those responsible for the wicked act in order to stop the senseless killings in the country. 

This criminality is totally unacceptable, unjustifiable and reprehensible to CAN and all right thinking people. We call on the security operatives to wake up to their responsibilities. The criminals are now operating with impunity while those who are expected to stop or apprehend them appear powerless. This cannot be the dream country of those who fought for her independence from the colonial masters. 

It is disheartening and unfortunate that nowhere is safe again in the country as killers, bandits, terrorists and kidnappers are on rampage in every nook and cranny of the country and all the government is able to do is to issue periodic statements condemning them without any decisive action to bring culprits to book. 

CAN calls on the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOBs) to stop these  criminalities in the pretext of fighting for independence. Are they fighting for a country for the dead or the living? They should know that their criminalities are not helping the case of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu. They should not turn the Southeast to a ‘No Man’s Land’ in the interest of the founding Fathers of this country who hailed from the zone. Their actions are not only giving the Ndigbo bad name but they are creating an atmosphere for Ethno-religious wars. Will a reasonable group be committing crimes like this?

We call on the political elites, religious  leaders and the traditional rulers of Ndigbo extraction to prevail on the violent groups in the Eastern part of the country to stop needless bloodshed and tension they are causing for economic prosperity and well-being of the region.

CAN commiserates with all the bereaved of the senseless killings especially the immediate family of lady Fatima and the recently murdered Honourable Member of Anambra State House to Assembly, Okechukwu Okoye. May God console and comfort them as He pours healing balm on their wounds in Jesus Christ name.

Signed

Pastor  Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant to the President of CAN, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle – 25 May, 2022.

PRESS STATEMENT: DEBORAH’S KILLERS MUST BE BROUGHT TO BOOK

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemns in strong terms the gruesome murder of a Christian, 200 Level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education,  Sokoto, Deborah Samuel by some extremist fellow students on alleged blasphemy.

The unlawful and dastardly action of the perpetrators must not only be condemned by all right thinking people but the security operatives must fish them out, prosecute them as it is expected of them. It is the failure of the security agencies and the government to rise up to such criminalities in the past that gave birth to terrorists and bandits. And as long as the State fails to bring these beasts and criminals amidst us to book, so also the society will continue to be their killing fields
We acknowledge the swift reaction of His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111 who not only condemned the criminal and religious intolerant action but called on the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice. It is our expectation that the State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, would ensure that the matter is not swept under the carpet, as it was before.

We also call on all teachers and preachers of religious intolerance, extremism and terrorism to repent before the wrath of God descends on them if the State failed to bring them to book. They are agents of death amidst us.


We recall the provocative and demeaning advertisement of the Sterling Bank where the bank compared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to “Agege bread”, up till now, nobody was attacked and even the CAN leadership has accepted the apology tendered by its Chief Executive, Abubakar Suleiman. Killing for any God in the name of blasphemy is ungodly, satanic, foolish, reprehensible and totally unacceptable. This is not a Stone Age and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic. Nigeria remains a non-religious State where no religion is supreme to the other.

We acknowledge and commend the restraint of the Christian students of the College who refused to embrace self-help and reprisal attacks on those who murdered their colleague. It is our prayers that those vampires in religious garments will not push the country to a religious war
This is why both the government and the security agencies must stop treating them with kid gloves. Enough is enough.
CAN commiserates with the family of Deborah and other bereaved. May God console and comfort them in Jesus Name.
 


Thanks to many other Nigerians who condemned this heinous crime. It was quite an unfortunate development in 21st century Nigeria.
Signed
 Joseph Bade Daramola, Esq
CAN’s General Secretary
13 May, 2022.

PRESS STATEMENT: CAN On The Visit Of The Prosecutor Of The International Criminal Court To Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has released a Press Statement on the recent visit of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim Khan to Nigeria.

In the statement signed by the CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle; The General Secretary, Barr. Joseph Bade Daramola, and the National Director (Legal & Public Affairs), Barr. Mrs. Comfort Otera Chigbue; pressing issues were raised in respect to Christian victims of religious violence in Nigeria, expressed concerns about the proceedings to date, and engagement with the Prosecutor.

Find full text of the PRESS STATEMENT here:

PRESS STATEMENT: Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) On The Visit Of The Prosecutor Of The International Criminal Court to Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is profoundly disturbed about the recent visit of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim Khan QC, to Nigeria last week. We wrote to Mr Khan twice last year, attempting to engage with his office on behalf of Christian victims of religious violence in Nigeria and expressing concerns about the proceedings to date. To this day, we have not had any response. Mr Khan failed to make any contact with us before, during or after his visit to Abuja. To our consternation, we found out about his visit in the media. It appears that this Prosecutor engages in political games and is unwilling to engage with victims of atrocity, let alone Christian ones. He has disrespected victims, and we are obliged to speak out about this.

The Government of Nigeria has not issued a formal statement about the visit but Mr Khan issued a statement about his visit on 22 April 2022  (//www.icc-cpi.int/news/icc-prosecutor-mr-karim-aa-khan-qc-concludes-first-official-visit-nigeria) We therefore address ourselves to this, and will make seven brief observations.

  1. At the International Criminal Court, the situation of Nigeria has since 11 December 2020 been in limbo between the closing of the Preliminary Examination stage and the making of a request for leave to open an investigation. There is a great deal of explaining to be done for this state of affairs. Yet, Mr Khan only met with members of the government of Nigeria, and seems not to have discussed this. We note that at least one of the individuals that he met has been identified to the Prosecutor’s office as a potential candidate for prosecution. Mr Khan is clearly playing a political game, and is prioritizing relations with the government of Nigeria. CAN is dismayed that the word ‘victim’ only appeared twice in his statement, and both times they were in bland stock-phrases. This is no accident, it reveals that this Prosecutor is not interested in standing up for victims of atrocity, but is trying to unburden himself of the Nigeria situation. We note the peculiarity of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court declaring, in the Nigerian context, that ‘As I have repeatedly stated, the meaningful realization of the vision set out in the Statute can only be achieved by deepening cooperation and by finding common ground wherever possible, even in difficult circumstances’.
  • Mr Khan’s predecessor took ten years (November 2010 – December 2020) to decide that she should seek leave from the Pre Trial-Chamber to open an investigation into Nigeria. The excuse she gave for this long delay was that this was due to ‘the priority given by my Office in supporting the Nigerian authorities in investigating and prosecuting these crimes domestically’. In the final months of her tenure, the-then Prosecutor finally gave up and determined that the Nigerian authorities had been ‘inactive’ in relation to their Complementarity responsibilities and she was forced to seek leave to open an investigation: ‘because of the absence of relevant proceedings or, where proceedings are asserted to have been conducted, the information available did not demonstrate any tangible, concrete, and progressive steps by the authorities to address allegations against members of the NSF’. This was on 11 December 2020. On 20 April 2022, nearly a year after his appointment, we have the spectacle of Mr Khan showing up in Nigeria trying to revive his predecessor’s failed attempts to get Nigeria to meet its Complementarity obligations. Two Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court have now been colluding with the government of Nigeria to use the principle of Complementarity to evade their own responsibilities in the face of international crimes, and to deny justice to the victims of religious and other violence in Nigeria.
  • Mr Khan’s statement tells us nothing about what he and his Office have done on Nigeria since December 2020, possibly because they have done absolutely nothing. Where is the application to the Pre Trial Chamber to open an investigation? How is it that Mr Khan has been willing to leap-frog the situations of the Philippines and Venezuela over Nigeria, applying for leave to the Court’s judges to open investigations? These situations came under the Prosecutor’s radar years after Nigeria went into Preliminary Examination. How it is that Ukraine has jumped the queue too? Why is the matter of ‘capacity constraints’ and ‘operational capacity due to overextended resources’ (referred to in the Prosecutor’s statement of 11 December 2020) only applicable to Nigeria, and not the Philippines, Venezuela and Ukraine? What is going on here?

For years now, our Christian community has borne the brunt of the religious violence in this country. We have, in a communication that was ignored by the Prosecutor, pointed out flaws in the approach taken by his predecessor in relation to Nigeria. These flaws are the result of profound misunderstanding of the role of religion in the violence that has engulfed this country. In the time that the two Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court have been leisurely considering the Nigeria situation (November 2010 to the present), a conservative assessment of the number of Christians who have lost their lives because of their religious identity would be more than 25,000. [The number of Christians killed for their faith recorded by World Watch Research in 2013 was 612, in 2014 it was 2484, in 2015 it jumped to 4028, in 2016 it dropped to 695, in 2017 it rose to 2000, in 2018 it rose again to 3731, in 2019 it was 1350, in 2020 it jumped again to 3910 and then again in 2021 to 4650.] There is no way to count the numbers of Nigerian Christians who have been wounded, abused and traumatized, let alone the massive property destruction and forced displacement of Christians from their homelands. Of course Muslims and other communities have been affected too, and they also must not be ignored in the Prosecutor’s apparent attempt to wash his hands of Nigeria. But CAN is an umbrella organization representing all the Christian denominations in this country; we are only mandated to address the disproportionately victimized and persecuted Christians of this country. Mr Khan’s statement indicates that like his predecessor, he will not take with any seriousness the matter of the persecution of Nigerian Christians. We will continue to challenge vigorously.

  • Mr Khan’s statement indicates a willingness to consider the Sahel-wide problem of Islamist terrorism. We have seen that the Islamist violence in Nigeria is indeed linked to what is going on in other countries, and there is a snowball effect going on. Our beloved country really is on the precipice. However, Mr Khan cannot suggest that the wider Sahel situation be referred to the Court by the Security Council when in Nigeria he and his Office ignore the religious mayhem being unleashed by armed Fulani herdsmen and Islamist bandits, and minimize the nature and scale of the religious persecution of Christians committed by Boko Haram. And of course, it is ironic that Mr Khan and his Office appear to have resources for a Security Council referral of the Sahel situation, but not for Nigeria.
  • The statement makes vague references to a formal agreement that the government of Nigeria and the Office of the Prosecutor are discussing. What is this about? Why are they not being open and transparent?
  • With all due respect to Mr Khan, his statement and conduct since coming to office present him as a Prosecutor seeking to shirk his responsibilities for investigating and prosecuting international crimes in Nigeria. He comes across as trying to avoid providing a modicum of satisfaction to the thousands upon thousands of victims in our country’s long running tragedy of murder and mayhem, exacerbated by governmental indifference, negligence and possibly even complicity.

In spite of our deep disappointment, CAN is committed to the search for justice and redress for the persecuted and brutalized Christians of Nigeria. We continue to be willing to engage with Mr Khan and his Office.

Provocative Easter Advert: ‘We have forgiven you’ – CAN Tells Sterling Bank, CEO

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has forgiven Sterling Bank and its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman over the provocative Easter greeting advertised by the Bank where it compared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to ‘Agege Bread.’

CAN in a statement signed by the General Secretary, Barrister Joseph Daramola, acknowledged that they have written an acceptable and genuine apology letter dated  20 April, 2022 to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) personally signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar Suleiman.

The statement reads:

“As a result of this development, CAN has resolved to forgive Sterling Bank and its Chief Executive. We always remember that  ‘to err is human and to forgive is divine.’

In taking this step, we are following the footsteps of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ who asked God to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross unjustly and has taught us to forgive always.”

We hereby call on all Christians in the country to join us in forgiving the Sterling Bank and its management. Those who are considering stopping patronizing the bank as a result of the blunder should stop the process but instead continue doing business with the bank.”

“We appeal to corporate institutions especially the banks to be more sensitive,  considerate and professional in handling their public messages. Whatever that can cause religious crises in the country should be avoided at all costs, both by the government and the business sector. 

“We appreciate our youths who heeded our directive and refused to be dragged into the streets to protest against the bank as being touted in some quarters.

Finally, we acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the well meaning Nigerians who intervened in the matter. May the blessings of Peacemakers be their portion in Jesus’ name,”

As contained in the statement.

Press Statement: CAN Condemns Provocative, Insensitive Advertisement of Sterling Bank

The attention of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been drawn to an ungodly, wicked, insensitive and deliberately provocative advertisement of the Sterling Bank comparing the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ to ‘Agege Bread’ amidst the Easter celebration.

In case the management of the Sterling Bank is not aware, the resurrection of Jesus witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the mystery that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.

In the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, God put our punishment on Christ so that we could be justified before Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). The resurrection of Jesus confirms that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice for sin on the cross and gives us access to a right relationship with Him.

The Empty tomb shows the supremacy of Jesus. Go to the grave of any other religious founder and his carcasses are still there being worship, but where Jesus was buried, it is boldly written; “He is no longer here, He has Risen”! That is what we are celebrating at Easter and for Sterling Bank to compare it with a loaf of bread is blasphemous and insensitive to the religion embraced by billions of people globally. The advertisement was provocative but we will refused to be provoked simply not only because it is not in our characters but it came from an uninformed mind of neither of the two leading religions in the country.

In the words of Pastor Adrian Rogers, “The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.”

The purported apology did not come from a penitent heart. How can someone in his right mind described the risen Christ as a loaf of bread. That is insulting, ridiculous and a mockery of Jesus Christ. We advised Christians to be wary of the banks and other financial institutions they are patronizing.

We learnt that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has reportedly intervened in the matter with a view to impose some sanctions against Sterling Bank. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is waiting for the decision of the organization.

However, in the interim, we call for the immediate removal of the Chief Executive of Sterling Bank; Mr. Abubakar Suleiman with his Management whose actions have clearly shown their hostility and hatred for the Christian faith.

We call on all Christians not to take the law into their hands in seeking redress, but to let the relevant authorities handle the matter.

Thank You.

Signed: Joseph Bade Daramola Esq. (General Secretary, CAN)

CAMA: Court Slates June 20 For Hearing In CAN’s Suit Against CAC

A Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday slated June 20, 2022 for hearing in a suit filed by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) against the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, handling the matter fixed the date after counsel to the plaintiff, Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) informed the court that all the court processes, including the Originating Summons have been filed and served on the defendants. The senior lawyer prayed the court for a date for adoption of the processes filed.

Counsel to the first defendant (CAC), Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) also informed the court that he had filed a notice of Preliminary Objection to the plaintiff’s Originating Summons and a written address.

After hearing the submissions of counsel in the matter, except the second defendant, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, which was not represented in court, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter till June 20 for hearing of both the Preliminary Objection and the substantive matter.

The Judge also ordered that hearing notice be served on the second defendant to make representation in court on the matter.

The Association, in its Originating Summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2022, wants the court to determine, “Whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 and regulations 28-30 of the Companies Regulations (CRs), 2021 are inconsistent with Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which guarantees the plaintiff’s right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court.

“Whether the provision of Section 854 of the CAMA is inconsistent with Section 39 of the constitution which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.

“Whether sections 842 (1) and (2) and 843 of the CAMA are inconsistent with sections 37 and 44 of the constitution which guarantees the right to privacy and compulsory acquisition and whether sections 839(1), (7)(a) and (10), section 842(1), (2), sections843, 851 and 854 are inconsistent with section 251(1)(e) and (3) of the CFRN and thus unconditional, null and void, among others.

Part of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff include “A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA and sections 28-30 of the are inconsistent with Section 40 of the constitution and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 4(8) of the constitution and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA and regulations 28-30 of the constitution have a direct effect on the judicial power of the Federal High Court under Section 6(6) (b) of the constitution and is therefore void.

“An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) and (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.

“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) and (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void and for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”

The plaintiff also want an order of perpetual injunction restraining and barring the defendants, whether acting by themselves or through any of their agents, privies, proxies, affiliates, subsidiaries or any person or entity whatsoever from doing or carrying out any act or making any pronouncement or talking any step to give effect t or implementing and/continuing with any act to implement the provisions of sections 17(2) (a) and (d), 839(1), 842(1) and (2), 842(1) and (2), 842, 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA against it or it’s agents as mentioned in Article 4 of its constitution, to prevent further contravention of the provisions of sections 4(8), 6(6)(b), 251(1)(e) and 251(3) of the 1999 Constitution.

The plaintiff, in an affidavit averred that if CAC is allowed to suspend its Trustees and appoint interim managers to manage its affairs, it will be usurping its powers under the constitution and the powers of the standing committee and the plenary session which would not be in line with the constitution.

The CAC had, in its Preliminary Objections, opposed the suit filed against it by CAN.

It argued that “The Registered Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria;” as a non-juristic person, was unknown to law to institute and maintain the action.

The plaintiff is not an entity registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act and not one otherwise recognized as being vested with statutory rights of incorporation and bereft of the requisite locus standi, legal capacity or competence to sue and maintain this action against the 1st defendant.

CAN Calls On CBN To Regulate Soft Loan Policies

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the Central Bank and other financial regulatory agencies to look into the frivolous financial loan facilities being granted to people without collateral by some dubious companies.

CAN said its attention was drawn to the antics of some faceless people who are unknown in the financial sector but giving out loan facilities to vulnerable people as a result of economic predicaments in the country.

A statement by the General Secretary of CAN, Barrister Joseph Daramola said according to its findings, some unscrupulous people developed their apps to extort money from innocent people on the pretext of giving them short loan facilities.

“Their interests are not only higher than the banks’ but they use blackmail and other antics to get their money back in case of default whereas their victims must have overpaid the loan secured but run into trouble as a result of the ungodly interests. They will be harassing and embarrassing the contacts of their victims asking them for their intervention to recover their money.

“These are not only against the financial regulation but totally unacceptable, irresponsible, suicidal and unfair.

“We are calling on the Governor of the Apex Bank, Godwin Emefele, the Ministry of Finance and other related agencies to, as a matter of urgency, intervene before their victims begin to use self-help to free themselves from the public ridicule and embarrassment.

“It easier to condemn those who take such loans because they were not forced to do so but when we critically examined the economic conditions of the country and the attendant consequences, we have realized that it would take only the disciplined and the godly people to say NO to the trap.

“CAN is also calling on the Federal government to bring the economy out of the woods as a way of restoring sanity back to the polity. We don’t need the quarterly report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics to know that life is becoming unbearable and tough for the citizens, irrespective of their economic status,” the statement added.

PRESS STATEMENT: CAN CONDEMNS THE DESECRATION OF THE HOUSE OF GOD BY THE POLICE IN IMO STATE

The National leadership  of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemns in strong terms the arrest of one Mr. Uche Nwosu at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral Umunwokwe village, in the Eziama-Obieri Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State.

We feel highly embarrassed by this ugly development and feel pained that the Nigeria Police had no respect even for the House of God. We cannot remember whether this act of disrespect for God ever happened before in our country.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has nothing to apologize for over what the police did because we were never and would never be party to their horrendous act. The Police that did the disgraceful thing should appropriately apologize without giving any excuse. We expect them to be more circumspect in the performance of their duties.

We are not asking the Police or the security agencies not to do their constitutional duties but the idea of desecrating the House of God in doing so is totally unacceptable, unfortunate and reprehensible. 

In view of the foregoing, we urge the Inspector General of Police to call his men to order and continue to respect all houses of worship, whether church or mosque. This type of act should never happen again in our country.

Thank You.

Signed
Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to His Eminence, the CAN President.

PRESS STATEMENT: OUR CASE AGAINST CAMA IS ON GOING – CAN ASSURES MEMBERS

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has allayed fears of some Christians over the suit filed against the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment on the controversial Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, dismissed the suit over the failure of the Association (the plaintiff) to comply with the law in the name used in filing the originating summons.

The Court held that the proper name of the Plaintiff is THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, as stated on the Plaintiff’s Certificate of Incorporation as against THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA; and the Court is unable to allow the replacement of the name on the originating process.

At the sitting, the Court delivered the ruling on the Plaintiff’s Application for Amendment of Originating Summons. In the ruling, Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo stated that suing in the wrong name contrary to statutory provision is statutory non-compliance and is not a mere misnomer to be corrected by the Court, as the court cannot re-write statutory provisions. The suit was accordingly struck out.

The Court held that the proper name of the Plaintiff is THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, as stated on the Plaintiff’s Certificate of Incorporation as against THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA; and the Court is unable to allow the replacement of the name on the originating process.

The new Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 states clearly under section 825(a) that registration of all ASSOCIATIONS must contain the words “INCORPORATED TRUSTEES of….”. This should have sustained our action before the court because the use of REGISTERED TRUSTEES is now being discarded. Our amendment ought to have been allowed. However, we will not like to join issues with the Court by going on appeal because it would further delay the case. Accordingly, we decided to choose the other option of refiling the case.

Our lawyers are currently preparing to institute a fresh suit using the proper name of the Plaintiff (CAN) as it is on the Certificate of Incorporation. This is the truth of the matter now. What happened in the court was just a temporary set back and by the grace of God, we have overcome it. Our prayers are for the unborn generations and nothing will discourage us from pursuing this case to the logical conclusion.

We want the court to determine “whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, is inconsistent with Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which guarantees the plaintiff’s right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court.

“Whether the provision of Section 854 of the CAMA is inconsistent with Section 39 of the CFRN which guarantees the right to freedom of expression,” among others.

Part of the reliefs we are seeking include “a declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 40 of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 4(8) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 36(1) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA has a direct effect on the judicial power of the court under Section 6(6) (b) of the CFRN, and Is therefore void.

“An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) & (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.

“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void.

“An Order striking down Section 17 (2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”

We call on well meaning Nigerians – Christians and non-Christians to continue praying for us, as we return to court, in our bid to ensure freedom of religion and worship to every Nigerian irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations.

Thank You.

 Signed

Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola

CAN’s General Secretary

5 December, 2021.