Pamela Adie v Corporate Affairs Commission
Pamela Adie v Corporate Affairs Commission, Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/827/2018 Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja Judicial Division
This matter concerns an administrative decision taken under the Companies and Allied Matters Act of Nigeria (CAMA). The applicant, Pamela Adie, challenged the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria’s refusal to reserve the name “Lesbian Equality and Empowerment Initiative” and consequently the refusal to register the organization. The name was rejected on the basis that “the name is misleading, and offensive and contrary to public policy” without any reasons advanced to substantiate the decision.
Judgment was delivered on 19 November 2018, in which the court dismissed Ms Adie’s case. The court found that Ms Adie’s rights to freedom of expression and association were not unconstitutionally violated because the name “Lesbian Equality and Empowerment Initiative” is contrary to the statutory provision in section 4(1) of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act (SSMPA), which prohibits registration of same-sex associations. The court reasoned that the SSMPA was passed to protect public morality and section 45(1)(c) of the Constitution allows for rights (such as association and expression) to be limited if the they conflict with public morality. Thus, the court held that the CAC was justified in its refusal and that the CAC’s decision based on the “misleading/offensive and contrary to public policy” name is a substantial enough basis to refuse registration because such reasoning is provided for in section 30 of CAMA. Ms Adie is currently appealing this decision.
ISLA has provided technical support to the case with the aims to developing regional jurisprudence on:
- strengthening freedom of association and assembly in the context of sexual rights.