The overall ramification of the FRCN law that forced Pastor Enoch Adeboye to step down is still unfolding.
The FRCN rule is established by the Financial Reporting Council, Nigeria, Act No 6, 2011.
They are responsible for developing and publishing accounting and financial reporting standards.
These standards are to be observed in the preparation of financial statements of public entities in Nigeria.
The FRCN law falls under three sectors: the private, the public and not-for-profit.
The third sector, the not-for-profit sector, is where all religious bodies in the country fall under.
According to the code, a leader in an NGO will not have an indefinite term in the running of the organization.
He or she is expected to step down from office if he has occupied it for a maximum of 20 years.
By setting term limit for heads of NGOs, including religious bodies, it is a matter of time before the law will hit a home run.
Recall that aside from Christian faith leaders, the law also covers Muslim and Islamic leaders.
Enters the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar.
The Sultan is the President-General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
The body is registered as an NGO.
The same FRCN law was used by former President Goodluck to remove Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the CBN governor.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah’s, had given a directive that the FRCN law be soft-pedaled.
A Federal High Court had in 2015 granted an interim injunction against the FRCN law.
Thereafter, the Court struck out the case for lack of locus standi and favored the law.
Following the court ruling in its favor last year, the Council in October 2016 released the guidelines for Private Sector and NGOs.
However, it curiously deferred application of the Code for Public Sector.
The FG perceived the Code as being capable of disrupting the management of companies and suspended it.
But the agency argued that it was acting according to Section 50 of the FRC Act, 2011.
They went ahead and implemented the rule. That was how Pastor Adeboye stepped down.
Adeboye, it was gathered, referred to the corporate governance code as he announced his decision to give up his position.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, yesterday said the federal government had suspended the law.
Enelamah added: “Government is committed to strengthening the FRCN and enhancing its capacity to fulfill its core mandate.”
But Obazee, the fired FRCN boss, insists that the churches do not have strong grounds not to make their financial statements public.
“You have to render stewardship and that’s our major challenges with the churches.
“We are insisting that NGOs should prepare their accounts and send to us and churches are in court fighting us.
“But we are wondering why pastors, who are teaching you how to account to God, are refusing to account to stakeholders.
“Government business is to protect its citizens and the same citizens are the ones putting money in all these places.
“So we want to know how accountable they are.
“And if they pursue noncharitable activities like schools, hospitals, & airlines, we want them to account for those ones separately.”
But here is the punchline: the FRCN code is an Act of parliament that signed into law by GEJ.
It cannot be repealed except by another act of parliament and signed into law by the PMB.