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The accounts of 20 alleged #EndSARS promoters have been frozen by the Federal High Court in Abuja. In the ruling delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020 include, Bolatito Oduala, Chima Ibebunjoh, Mary Kpengwa, Ebere Idibie, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye, Akintomide Yusuf, Uhuo Promise, Saadat Bibi, Bassey Israel, Wisdom Obi, Nicholas Osazele, Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mulu Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu Williams and Adegoke Emmanuel. The rulings order that their accounts be frozen for 90 days (November 4, 2020 – January 20, 2021), with the possibility of renewal if CBN requests it, to allow its investigating committee to complete its thorough probe*.
Anti-Police Brutality Campaigners flagged Terrorists by CBN
According to a news article in the Punch Newspaper, one of the alleged #EndSARS campaigners, Saadat Bibi, claimed that her Access Bank account was frozen on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s instruction due to a donation of N30,000 deposited in her account to organise the campaign against police brutality and buy food for protesters. Meanwhile, other participants of the anti-police brutality campaign have expressed their displeasure with the Nigeria Immigration Service’s purported confiscation of their travel permits to prevent them from leaving the country.
These defendants, on the other hand, had filed an application to have their accounts unfrozen. In response to their application, the CBN governor, through his legal representative, Mr Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), a former Attorney-General of the Federation, opposed it. He claims that the order freezing their accounts was properly obtained on the basis of the CBN’s suspicion of the accused 20 individuals’ accounts being linked to terrorism financing, necessitating investigation.
Due to their participation in the #EndSARS protest, these individuals’ accounts were blocked for three months. A court in Abuja, however, has ordered the Central Bank to unfreeze the accounts of the 20 people. Recall that their accounts were frozen on November 4, 2020, after the CBN’s governor received a court order to do so due to concerns of money laundering and terrorism funding.
CBN Politicking Than Attending to its Fundamental Task.
The Nigerian bank regulator could not produce any proof to corroborate the charges, according to the legal representation for the 20 persons, Femi Falana (SAN), and the petition was dismissed by Justice Mohammed more than three months after the accounts were frozen. “We informed the court that the 90-day order expired on the 4th of February, and since there was no renewal of the order, that should be the end of the case,” Femi Falana stated in an interview with CNN. “The court agreed with us; made an order for defreezing of the accounts and struck out the case based on the application of the counsel to the Central Bank,” he stated later in the interview.
As a result of a recent event, it has come to light that the CBN governor is involved in party politics and is an associate of the All Progressives Congress. If wishes were horses, I’d ride one to wish that the CBN never again gets involved in things that are clearly political. This abstention from such political affairs is supposed to provide them plenty of time to focus on their principal tasks. It’s even more upsetting that these young Nigerians had to deal with political leaders’ malevolent roping from such a young age.
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