The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has accused lawyers of stealing documents from the Commission during manual certificates search.
Registrar – general, CAC, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, who made this disclosure, said on so many occasions lawyers had been apprehended with stolen documents from the Commission.
“On so many occasions we have apprehended lawyers with documents that were stolen from this place. Particularly for companies under investigation or those that have dispute among the shareholders.
“Only two weeks ago, a lawyer was apprehended forging signatures. His specialty is when documents are queried for irregular signatures, he signs again for the customers. Because sometimes a document might be presented and our staff will observe inconsistency in the signature.
“You will be surprised that for a company that has its address somewhere in Ikorodu or far north east, but within one hour, the same document will be returned to you, that it has been re-signed by the customer.
“So, we had information that this was being done in our vicinity and we had to organise an operation and two lawyers were apprehended.
“One specialises in signing the documents and the other took the documents to him to sign on behalf of her clients. So, they were taken to Force CID and we are making arrangements to arraign them in court,” he said.
He further stressed that there have been cases where whole files were removed from CAC, adding that the Commission has investigated and discovered that there is no registry in the world as at today that allows customers to handle its documents, and will be following suit.
“No Registry around the world has physical contact with its customers. We have followed suit and have eliminated all manual searches. We will do a report and give it to the customers. It has become necessary to safeguard the integrity of the records we are keeping.
“A lawyer is supposed to have self-esteem and decorum but if you see what is happening at the CAC car park on a daily basis, you wonder whether you are dealing with Almajiris or lawyers.
“This has to end and we have to sanitise the system in a manner that everyone will get results without having to visit CAC,” he ended.
According to him, the electronic system introduced would completely end manual search and safeguard documents.
Abubakar further revealed that the agency’s newly- introduced mailing system of sending company registration certificates has come to stay.
According to him, henceforth customers would either receive their certificates through courier services (mailing system) or electronically to avoid physical contact with clients in line with COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our new policy on mailing, the first phase took effect from Friday July 24 and by 10 of August, all other processes will be done either electronically or by mailing the documents to CAC.
“For the two Lagos offices, this system will come into effect on 31 August. We believe we have a responsibility to protect our staff and customers from any health challenge.
“The era of customers coming to CAC face to face is gone. I am here for a mission and the mission is to sanitise the system.”
He said the Commission has a target of making all its operations electronic by December 2020.
“It is unfortunate that the online system has not been fully completed, but we have a target of December this year to have everything electronic.”
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