Native doctors take CAC to court over alleged registration refusal

Enugu—The Traditional Religious Practitioners’ Association, (TRPA) in Nigeria, has instituted a lawsuit against the Corporate Affairs Commission ( CAC) in the Federal High Court, sitting in Enugu.

According to Vanguard newspaper, the lawsuit was filed by the traditional religious association because of CAC’s refusal to register the traditional worshippers as a religious body such as the Christian Association of Nigeria( CAN) and the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA)

In its online application for registration to the CAC in June 2022, the TRPA, led by Chukwuma Ezeoruonye, and two others, as Trustees, requested for the association to be registered as a corporate entity for the promotion of their faith but the CAC in its reply to the application, turned down the request for registration.

The commission in its reply to the TRPA on July 11 2022 said: “The CAC regrets to inform you that it was unable to approve any of the names(s) submitted for approval., the .name is not registrable as their forms of worship and practices are not publicly available.”

In their application to the court (Suit No FHC/EN/CS/140/2022) through their counsel, Obi K. Odo, the traditional religious worshippers contend that by the denial for registration, the CAC has discriminated against the plaintiffs on the ground of their religious worship, contrary to the provision of section 42 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“Other religious groups have been incorporated by the defendants but chose to deny us just because we are traditional worshippers. There is no other way to convince the defendants to go ahead and incorporate us as the Board of Trustee of the Association except by the intervention of this court,” the plaintiffs petitioned.

Joined in the suit as co-defendants are the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The Plaintiffs are seeking for a declaration that the CAC denial of approval of Traditional Religious Practitioners’Association as a name for the purposes of incorporating them as registered Trustees of TRPA is a breach of their right to freedom of religion/worship and discriminatory contrary to the 1999 constitution as amended; stating also that the refusal under the part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act was ultra vires and unlawful.

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