All is now set for the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria to go ahead with the enactment of its proposed Not-for-Profit Organisations Governance Codes 2016.
Ruling in a matter instituted and filed on July 29, 2015 by 6 persons purporting to be acting on behalf of The Redeemed Christian Church of God and a host of other Pentecostal Churches praying the Court to stop the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) from going ahead with the enactment of the said Code, Hon. Justice Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos held that while the action of the Plaintiffs was premature, the Plaintiffs also lacked the locus standi to institute the suit against the FRCN.
The Plaintiffs had commenced the action before the Court, suing the Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Trade and Investment and Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents respectively, challenging the intention of the FRCN to enact the Not-For-Profit Organizations Code 2016 which includes places of religious worship, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and so on. The Plaintiffs in an Affidavit jointly filed in Court on July 29, 2015 had claimed that the decision of the Respondents and most especially the FRCN infringes on their Fundamental Human Right to Religion.
In a swift reaction however, Counsel to the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN of Kenna Partners filed a Preliminary Objection urging the Court to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ suit. According to Professor Ajogwu, SAN, the Plaintiffs lack the locus standi to institute the suit. The Leaned Silk further argued that since the proposed code had not even been enacted, the Plaintiffs’ suit is premature and academic in nature. In conclusion, he urged the Honourable Court to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ suit as the fundamental defects in the suit robbed the Court of Jurisdiction.
In his well considered ruling which was delivered on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Honourable Justice Buba upheld Professor Ajogwu’s submissions and accordingly dismissed the suit.
In view of the decision of the Honourable Court, it seems all is now set for the enactment of the Not-For-Profit Organization Governance Code 2016, which among other things seeks to ensure good governance and orderly succession in view of the volume of funds they attract from donors as well as encourage accountability among Not-For-Profit Organizations as most of them operate with unknown frameworks with Government completely in the dark as regards their operations, to go into full force.