November 28, 2021

Nigerian Officials order name change for newly registered “Assembly of God Northern Nigeria” Church

Recent moves by a breakaway group to register a Church similar to “Assemblies of God Nigeria” may have suffered defeat.

Internal crisis has persisted in the Pentecostal Church for nearly a decade, it was gathered.

A group reportedly led by a top federal official, hurriedly registered a new Church – “Assembly of God Northern Nigeria”, without approvals from the mother Church.

Upon discovery, attorneys of Assemblies of God Nigeria Church wrote the CAC, demanding the withdrawal of the certificate of the new Church registration numbered 101029.

The letter dated August 16, 2020, signed by Barr. Ezra Jinang of Seven Seals Attorneys says “the registration of Assembly of God Northern Nigeria in 2017 after an earlier registration of Assemblies of God Nigeria to our mind and the law, is a clear case of passing off and the aim is to mislead members of the public towards believing that the two organizations are one and the same.”

The CAC immediately wrote the incorporated Trustees of the newly registered “Assembly of God Northern Nigeria” Church, directing the change of the approved name “to one that does not resemble Assemblies of God Nigeria, to avoid misleading members of the public to believing that it is the same as Assemblies of God Nigeria” against relevant laws.

Section 30(1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 (as amended) forbids the registration of an organization, “under a name identical with that by which a company in existence is previously registered, or nearly resembling it to be likely to deceive.”

The order of change of name in a letter dated 27th August 2020, with reference number COM/GCE/QU/VOL.1/2020/286 gave six weeks for the name change.

It is however not clear how the name approval was secured in the first place.

The new Church is thought to be a result of the efforts of an individual, along with a few loyalists, and not a unanimous decision of the Church in Northern Nigeria.