The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, has rejected the offensive part of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, which gives a supervising minister power to sack the board of trustees of churches.
PFN, in a statement issued by the National President, Rev. Felix Omobude said following the assent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill passed by the National Assembly, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has continued to receive calls from several organisations and individuals, far and wide, expressing worry and concern about the law, especially as it related to provisions of Section 839 of the Act.
“The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has been in consultation with its team of legal Advisers to look at the provisions of the law so that it can come to an informed position and be properly advised on what to do, should the concerns be deemed genuine.
“Following a briefing by its team of legal Advisers, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is convinced that there is indeed cause for concern about the Companies and Allied Matters Act recently signed into law, as it concerns civil society organizations, religious bodies and other not-for-profit concerns,” it said.
PFN said its concerns were founded around provisions of Section 839 (1) (a),(b),(c) which it saw as contrary to Section 6(6) and Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We believe that these provisions, among others, leave the door open to abuse, denial of fair hearing, arbitrariness and dubious use of power by the Commission and/or its agents.
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is concerned at the provision which makes recourse to the vague and nebulous phrase “public interest” as grounds for taking over a non-governmental organisation by the Commission and/or its agents, contrary to Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Not only are there contradictions in the law, we believe that some of its provisions are indeed already covered by other legislations.
“In the light of this, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately set in motion the machinery for a quick review of the offensive parts in the legislation,” it added.
The body said it stood with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and reaffirmed her position on this matter, saying that it was reviewing all options on the table and would be taking actions in pursuit of a remedy accordingly.
We intend to assert our constitutional rights, following the prescribed procedure for redress, to ensure that the not-for-profit sector which has been standing in the gap for the disadvantaged and underprivileged Nigerians, in the face of neglect by government at all levels, is able to continues to do so without hindrance,” it stated.