Nigeria taken to court over NGO Bill

From EMEKA OKONKWO
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – A COALITION of Nigerian civil society organisations is challenging the Non-governmental Organisations Bill (NGO) in court.
The bill is currently before the National Assembly.
A coalition including the Paradigm Initiative, Enough is Enough, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria, Media Rights Agenda as well as Laws and Rights Awareness Initiative is challenging the bill arguing it violates the constitutionally guaranteed rights to freely associate and assemble.
The National Assembly and the House of Representatives are respondents to the motion filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Boye Adegoke, a Programme Manager at Paradigm Initiative, said the
coalition considered the court process as an important civil means of seeking redress and getting lasting solutions.
“Mindful of the atrocious capabilities of governments with respect to
regulation and proscription, we feel the civil society community in
Nigeria is under imminent threat from far-reaching provisions of this bill,” Adegoke said.
The coalition considers the bill as a cynical attempt by the Nigerian government of President Muhammadu Buhari to muzzle dissent and perpetuate disregard for rules and laws.
“We won’t stand by to allow this. This court process is our way of lending our voices to the ongoing advocacy against the bill across the country,” Adegoke.
The controversial bill seeks to establish a government agency to be known as the NGO Regulatory Commission.
It will to regulate activities of NGO’s and CSOs.
The High Court is yet to set a date for the hearing of the motion.
CAJ News

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