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Native Doctor Drags Corporate Affairs Commission To Court Over Refusal To Register Traditional Worshippers

The Traditional Religious Practitioners’ Association (TRPA) in Nigeria has dragged the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to the Federal High Court in Enugu for the commission’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 Traditional Religious Practitioners Association, TRPA, led by Dibia Chukwuma Ezeoruonye and two others as the Trustees, requested for the TRPA 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 registration request. 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…name 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 Esquire, the traditional religious worshippers contend that by the denial of 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 Trustees 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 for Justice. The Plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the CAC denial of approval of Traditional Religious Practitioners’ Association as a name to incorporate 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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