Thursday, September 20, 2018
Advertisement

Adegboruwa: BVN not backed by law… court order to freeze bank accounts illegal

Adegboruwa: BVN not backed by law… court order to freeze bank accounts illegal
October 22
10:17 2017
Advertisement

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, human rights lawyer, has described as illegal, the order granting forfeiture of funds in accounts without bank verification number (BVN) to the federal government.

On Saturday, TheCable reported that 19 banks had been directed and given the ultimatum of 14 days to advertise accounts without BVN in a national newspaper.

This order was given by Nnamdi Dimgba, a judge of the federal high court, Abuja following an application by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF).

But in a statement, Adegboruwa citing section 36(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter, said it is not proper to determine the rights of parties in their absence.

He said the BVN is a policy decision that is not “backed by law”.

The lawyer also faulted the “bindingness” of the order on millions of bank customers who he said are not directly parties to the suit.

He said the quest to get revenue for the government should not be to the detriment of the constitutional and fundamental rights of the citizens.

“I am very well concerned about how we deploy interim orders for permanent purposes, such as to forfeit valuable assets, without any or fair hearing from the person(s) concerned,” the statement read.

“I think it is improper to obtain interim orders to freeze bank accounts of estates that are in dispute between the beneficiaries, of estates of deceased persons that are still being contested, of profits of companies that are still subject to litigation or other disputes, just to mention a few examples of the arbitrariness of these orders.

“There is nothing in section 3 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, that makes BVN a condition precedent for operating a bank account in Nigeria. Nothing at all. What the law requires is verifiable identity of the customer, such as name, address, photographs, identity cards, etc. BVN is policy decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria and a court of law should not base its orders on executive policies that are not backed by law.

“I get truly worried with the way we adopt ex-parte applications to determine very serious and weighty issues of law.

“The other point is the bindingness of an ex-parte order upon the whole world and upon all millions of bank customers in Nigeria, who are not directly parties to the suit. How proper is it, for a court to seek to determine the rights of parties in their absence, in view of the clear provisions of section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter.

“Why this desperation, if one may ask? I support that money suspected to be proceeds of crime should be traced, isolated and forfeited if the owner cannot successfully account for it. But to proceed to seek to forfeit all monies in all banks meant for all customers in Nigeria, on the ground of absence of BVN is manifestly illegal.

“I therefore humbly urge the honourable attorney-general of the federation to review this case with a view to tempering the tenor of these rather outlandish orders.

“The quest to scoop revenue for government should not be at the detriment of the constitutional and fundamental rights of the citizens. Which is why I have been praying that these orders are not real, but rather one of the usual social media gimmicks.”

RECEIVE ALERTS FROM THECABLE

BBM CHANNEL C0038F78B
WHATSAPP 08113975334
TWITTER @thecableng
Copyright 2018 TheCable. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from TheCable.
Tags
Advertisement

Social Comments

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

*

 
Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement
 

Exchange Rates

September 20, 2018USDGBPEUR
INTERBANK360.45480.18420.32
LAGOS360485425
KANO361483423
PH362482423
ABUJA362481423
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement