JUST IN: CAMA: Court Asked To Order Removal Of 4 Church Trustees

A trustee of the First United Pentecostal Church International in Nigeria, has prayed the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to compel the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to remove and replace four other trustees in the “interest of justice” citing the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

The motion which was filed before Justice Anwuli Chikere by Damian Umaja Esq., also has the CAC as respondent.

As captured in the motion seen by our correspondent, the applicant, Rev. Gerald McLean, argued that while the church was registered in Nigeria in 2003, with him and four other as trustees, a resolution (in 2020) was later reached to remove them while replacing them with five others.

He argued that he had written to the CAC but was queried and asked to get a court order to that effect.

He also alleged to have followed the procedures outlined in CAMA for the removal of a trustee and that the affected persons had not objected to it since the move was made.

“I, REV. GERALD MCLEAN, Male, United States of American Citizen, of NO. 4777 W. Maple Leaf Circle Greenfield, WI 53220 USA do hereby make Oath and state as follows:

“That I am one of the Applicant’s Trustees in this suit and by virtue of which I am conversant with the facts and status of this case; possessing as I do the confidence, consent and authority of the Applicant and other Trustees to depose to this affidavit for and on their behalf.

“That on the 26th day of February, 2003, the FIRST UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH INTERNATIONAL was registered as a Corporate body/ incorporated trustees under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with myself REV. GERALD MCLEAN as one of the trustees and the following persons REV. JOHN NICKERSON, MR. AUGUSTINE ONYEDUMEKWU, PROPHET JAMES OGBEVIRE FABURIMI, and REV. SAMUEL OLUBUMI JOHNSON. A copy of Certificate of Registration of the of the Trustees dated 26 day of February, 2003 is hereinafter attached and marked as EXHIBIT A’.

“That by the general meeting of the Applicant’s held in 2020, a resolution was passed by the Trustees to amend their constitution, and remove the old Trustees mentioned in the above paragraph and admit the following persons; REV. PHELPS BOYD, MR. UFOT CHRISTOPHER DAN, REV. ALAGBA DAMIAN NANCY U., REV. UGONDO MICHAEL TERHEMBA, and REV. JAKIN DARLYNTON CHYNO as the new Trustees to replace them.

“That the Applicant’s Trustees armed with the said resolution passed in the aforestated meeting, applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission to amend its constitution as well as to remove and add new trustees.

“That after complying with all requirements under COMPANIES AND ALLIED MATTERS ACT, for replacement and appointment of trustees by Applicant, the Applicant on the 10th day of December, 2020, received a query from the Corporate Affairs Commission directing the Applicant to obtain a court order mandating the Corporate Affairs Commission to admit new Trustees and remove the old Trustees,” the motion stated.

The motion was supposed to be heard in court on Friday but the officials told lawyers that the judge would rather attend to each of them at the chambers.

When the applicant’s lawyer, Umaja Esq.,was out, he told THE WHISTLER that the matter was adjourned to March 18, on the grounds that the CAC counsel was not in court.

When asked why the applicant was seeking the removal of the trustees, he said it was most likely that some of them have passed on or not fit to serve in that position.

The application is asking the court “to direct/mandate the Respondent to remove the old Trustees and admit news Trustees having complied with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act as it would be just and equitable if this application is granted…in the supreme interest of justice.”

Recall that some sections of the CAMA, which was gazetted in 2020 had been frowned on by the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN).

On his part, the presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide Bishop David Oyedepo, had described it as a plot to meddle in church affairs.