CBN gets court order to freeze accounts of #EndSARS ‘promoters’

Author:
Oluseyi Awojulugbe

The federal high court sitting in Abuja has granted the Central Bank of Nigeria’s request to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests, TheCable can report.

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A document seen by TheCable on Friday showed that the CBN filed the request before A.R. Mohammed, the presiding judge, on October 20, 2020, and the court granted the request on November 4.

Some of the affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye and Adegoke Pamilerin Emmanuel.

Others are Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon and Idunu A. Williams.

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The court order was addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa and Zenith Bank.

The CBN applied “to freeze forthwith all transactions on the under-listed 20 accounts on the list annexed to this application as Exhibit A and all other bank accounts of the defendants/respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria”.

Mohammed ruled that the accounts be frozen for 90 days pending the outcome of the investigation.

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“It is however directed that the 90 days freezing order, when it lapsed, may be renewed upon good cause shown by the applicant,” the document read.

“It is also directed that any person, whether artificial or natural, that is affected by this order may apply to the court to have his grievance or complain heard by the court.”

Gatefield Nigeria Limited had earlier sued Access Bank Plc for allegedly blocking an account used to promote media coverage of the #EndSARS protests.

The protest, which held for 13 days in various parts of the country, called for the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit of the police and urged the government to carry out general police reforms.

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Donations were received in various currencies including naira and dollars using Flutterwave to provide food, medical care and legal aid to protesters.

However, the donation link was disabled. The donation was subsequently moved to Bitcoin.

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