6 November 2017

Nigeria: Rights Groups Sue National Assembly Over NGO Regulation Bill

Some civic groups have sued the National Assembly to stop further deliberation on the bill that seeks to register and regulate Civil Society Organisations, CSOs.

The groups that filed the suit are members of the Human Rights Agenda Network, HRAN.

In a suit filed on November 3, 2017 at the Federal High Court Abuja, the plaintiffs comprising of 23 NGOs are seeking order of court to declare unconstitutional and unlawful the NGO Regulation Bill which has currently passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The groups asked the court to determine whether a judicial order can be made to stop the legislature from deliberating on a bill pending before it. If that is possible, they want an order stopping further deliberations on the NGO Regulation Bill, which the groups claim will violate their right to: freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and non-discrimination, as enshrined under sections 39, 40 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The groups also asked the court to declare that the provisions of the NGO Regulation Bill is contrary to Section 40 of the Constitution by seeking to register and regulate NGOs working on human rights as if they are political parties; and to that extent, the bill is unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs through their counsel, Chino Obiagwu, also asked the court to declare that the provisions of the NGO Regulation Bill is contrary to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), under which NGOs are registered, because it creates extra burden on the registered NGOs than the law has placed on other registered companies.

In a 19-paragraph affidavit in support of the summons, the groups headed by HRAN, claim that they do not need to wait for the bill to be passed into law before challenging it and that once it can be shown that the bill is likely to infringe on their rights if passed into law, the court can stop the National Assembly from deliberating on such bill by virtue of Section 46 (1) of the constitution.

The groups therefore sought "an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from continuing with any or further deliberation, consideration and/or passing into law of HB111: NGO Regulatory Bill; HB585: NGO Regulatory Bill, and HB705: Civil Society Committee of Nigeria Bill."

No date has been fixed for the hearing.

Nigeria

Army Orders All Personnel to Learn Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba Before 2019

The Nigerian Army has directed all its officers and men to immediately commence the learning of the three major Nigerian… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Premium Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.