The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said that it has withdrawn the registration certificates of Ohaneze Ndigbo General Assembly, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and other socio-cultural groups in the country.
According to Garba Abubakar, registrar general, CAC, who made this known on Friday in Abuja, the withdrawal is in tandem with the ongoing reforms in the commission in which such organisation with political, religious or ethnic affiliations will be subjected to go through security clearance so as to avoid any form of threat to national security.
Abubakar explains, “Yes, we have withdrawn the certificate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly because the certificate should not have been issued in the first instance.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consistent with what the law says, and the trustees are fit and proper, then we will go ahead, but till then, we have withdrawn the certificate and they have threatened to go to court, we are lawyers, we will meet them in court.”
Also, Abubakar disclosed that prospective Non-profit foreign organisations would first seek approval from the commission before registration adding that a few numbers of them are politically motivated which may cause uproar in the country.
“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,” said Abubakar.
As part of the ongoing reforms, companies undergoing registration will be receiving their certificates via courier delivery services hence putting an end to applicants trouping to its offices.
This, according to him is part of measures to prevent its staff from being contracted with COVID-19.
“We have a total workforce of 1,310 staff, only 221 of such staff fall into the category of officers from level 14 and above. Every Monday to Friday we attend to nothing less than 500 customers.
“But if you are dealing with mailing company, every certificate we can produce by 2:00 pm, we hand it over to the courier company the same day and the customer can pick it, this system was introduced on Friday and I can assure you between the time it was introduced till now over 400 certificates have been dispatched by the courier companies.
“In the past, some customers will wait for one month without getting the certificate, to the extent some were even accusing our staff of corruption, that our staff were collecting money. The mailing system won’t stop at certificate dispatch, it will extend to all other processes,” he stated.