Vice President Yemi Osinbajo advised Church leaders who were affected by the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 2020 on what steps to take.
On August 7, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the law into force.
Under the law, religious bodies and charity organisations will be strictly regulated by the registrar-general of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a supervising minister.
CAMA provides that the commission may by order, suspend the trustees of an association or a religious body and appoint an interim manager or managers to coordinate its affairs where it reasonably believes that there has been any misconduct or mismanagement, or where the affairs of the association are being run fraudulently or where it is necessary or desirable for the purpose of public interest.
Many religious leaders, especially pastors, had rejected the law which they described as a declaration of war against the church.
David Oyedepo, presiding bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, had said the law was borne of out the government’s jealousy about the prosperity recorded by the church.
But speaking at the annual general conference of the Nigeria Bar Association on Thursday, Osinbajo asked those aggrieved over the law to approach the national assembly.
The vice-president, who is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), said under democracy the church leaders can seek redress at parliament.
“We have a process by which this (CAMA law) can be redressed. Whatever the proposal for amendment may be, whatever the view of the leadership of the church may be, regarding the question of how the trustees, whether they are interim trustees or not, can be put into a proposal that will be brought to the National Assembly for consideration for amendment to the law, that is the process which is entirely opened and ought to be pursued,” he said.
“We are in a democracy and there is a process by which things can be done and that process is the one where you bring forward amendments to the National Assembly and they will do whatever is considered useful in the circumstance.”
On the southern Kaduna crisis, the vice-president said the federal government will ensure those perpetrating violence are brought to justice.
Osinbajo said major underlying issues including ensuring justice, fixing economic marginalisation will not be swept under the carpet while dealing with the situation.
“There have been judicial commissions and all sorts, but the problem remains. So, there is a need to address the underlying issues. You can’t sweep under the carpet, justice and the cries of economic marginalisation,” he said.
“The fact is that we must prosecute persons responsible for these murders or otherwise impunity will worsen. And also support those who have lost their breadwinners.
“The mindless callous killings in Southern Kaduna are heartbreaking.”