An Abuja based “activist” Ibrahim Garba Wala uses an illegal Non Governmental Organisation, NGO, Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria, CATBAN, to harass and intimidate MDAs and often prominent individuals occupying public offices.
CATBAN is currently staging a protest in Abuja “to demand for more action, specifically against endemic corruption in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)”.
While the supposed fight against corruption is noble and should be supported by all, it is commonly known that most “ activist” set up illegal contraptions just to blackmail people occupying offices.
That is majorly why the House of Representatives is considering a bill that will regulate the activities of NGOs in the country.
Nigerian law requires NGOs to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, as Incorporated Trustees.
It also requires all prospective NGOs to first carry out Name search with the CAC and if successful, publish the same in at least three major newspapers, pay a fee of N20,000 and then fill an “ IT” form and submit three copies back to the CAC alongside many relevant documents.
Findings by this newspaper showed that efforts to register CATBAN failed in the first huddle, yet, the promoter of the outfit continue to use it as if it is a legal entity.
For instance, major media houses were formally invited to cover Wednesday’s protest in Abuja in the name of CATBAN.
The organisation has also in the last one year of its existence been holding press conferences and organizing events.
Checks at the CAC showed that CATBAN’s request to register was rejected.
Document obtained from the commission reads: “ The CAC regrets to inform you that it was unable to approve any of the name(s) submitted for approval”.
The commission also identified the name(s) denied as “ CITIZENS ACTION TO TAKE BACK NIGERIA “.
CAC also gave reason for the denial as the name being “ Vague/Misleading” based on “ S 30 (1) C”.
CATBAN first came to prominence when it called a “World Press Conference” and told the world how the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal used his personal company to defraud a Presidential committee on the North East domiciled in his office of millions of Naira.
The group threatens to “occupy” the SGF office until he resigns.
Mr. 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.
Shockingly however, CATBAN called another “ World Press Conference” on the day it promised to occupy the SGF office and instead of protest, it condemned the Senate Ad-hoc committee findings on Mr. Lawal.
In the press conference that was held at Sheraton Hotel Abuja, Mr. Wala said CATBAN had carried out a “ thorough investigation “ into the issue and has found out that the Senate were unduly persecuting the then SGF.
Wala accused the Senate of waging a campaign of calumny against the Babachir Lawal and that the damning report against him was “politically motivated and calculated to tarnish his image and reputation”.
Interestingly, there were also reports that he uses personal accounts to solicite for funds from the members of the public under CATBAN???