Posted by Garba Ahmed | 24 November 2017 | 1,784 times
Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), which has been accused of harassing and intimidating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as prominent public office holders, is operating illegally, investigations by News Express have showed.
CATBAN, which staged a protest in Abuja on Wednesday to demand more action, specifically against endemic corruption in MDAs, is led by an Abuja-based activist, Ibrahim Garba Wala.
Findings by our reporter showed that efforts to register CATBAN with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) failed, yet the promoter of the outfit continues to use it as a legal entity.
CATBAN first came to prominence when it held a World Press Conference to reveal that the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, used his personal company to defraud the Presidential Committee on the North East, domiciled in his office.
Subsequently, the group threatened to occupy the SGF’s office until he resigned. Lawal was accused of awarding a N240 million contract to a company he owns; Rholavision, to clear grasses at Komadugu River in Yobe State in clear violation of the Nigerian Constitution.
But in another twist, CATBAN organised another press conference on the day it promised to occupy the SGF’s office but rather than protest, it condemned the Senate Ad-hoc Committee findings on Mr. Lawal.
At the press conference held at Sheraton Hotel Abuja, Mr. Wala said CATBAN had carried out a “thorough investigation into the issue and found out that the Senate was unduly persecuting the then SGF.”
Wala accused the Senate of waging a campaign of calumny against Babachir Lawal and that the damning report against him was “politically motivated and calculated to tarnish his image and reputation.”
There are also allegations that Wala uses personal accounts to solicit for funds from members of the public under the guise of CATBAN.
Although the organisation has existed for about one year, holding press conferences and other events at intervals, checks at the CAC showed that CATBAN’s request to get registered as required by law was rejected by the Commission.
The CAC described the name, ‘Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria’ as “vague and misleading” based on S30 (1) C.
Document obtained from the Commission also read: “The CAC regrets to inform you that it was unable to approve any of the name(s) submitted for approval.”
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