Association in Nigeria

While freedom of association is guaranteed by Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended in 2010), no specific legislation governs the formation and registration of CSOs. Therefore, organisations need to adhere to the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 1990. The President has the power to make a CSO unlawful when it is ‘dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof’, however this power has seldom been used against peaceful CSOs pursuing legitimate aims. The approval of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January 2014 prohibits and criminalises organisations working on LGBTI rights. The legislation has had a negative impact on the local advocacy of LGBTI issues as organisations are forbidden to have meetings or host debates or conferences. Human rights defenders face many risks, especially those working to promote LGBTI rights, anti-corruption effort, and good governance, as well as those working in areas controlled by the group Boko Haram.