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#EndSARS: CBN didn’t freeze accounts of activists during military regime, says Falana

#EndSARS: CBN didn’t freeze accounts of activists during military regime, says Falana
February 10
23:06 2021

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says it is on record that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not file any application to freeze the accounts of activists and citizens even during the military regime.

Falana’s position is coming after a federal high court in Abuja ordered the apex bank to unfreeze the bank accounts of 20 #EndSARS protests.

The apex bank had approached a court to seek an order to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS protesters for 90 days, in the wake of protests against police brutality that took place in October 2020.

The order, which was granted on November 4, 2020, expired on Tuesday.

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Ahmed Mohammed, a federal high court judge, on Wednesday ordered the unfreezing of the accounts after CBN’s counsel and the legal representative of the protesters agreed to end the case.

Falana, in a statement on Wednesday, said even though passports of activists were seized at the airports and other atrocities  committed during military, the apex bank, which he said was maned by professional did not freeze bank accounts of activities.

“In desperation the military dictators  charged us with sundry criminal offences including treasonable felony for having the temerity  to challenge their corrupt practices and human rights abuse. But the courts ensured that we were admitted to bail in liberal terms,” he said.

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“Our passports were impounded at the airports and confiscated by the National Security Organisation (now State Security Service) to prevent us from travelling abroad to expose the atrocities of the dictators. But the passports were released to us on the orders of our courts. 

“It is on record that the Central Bank of Nigeria which was then manned by professional bankers never filed any ex parte application to freeze our accounts.”

Falana urged the courts to reject “frivolous application” filed by the CBN to freeze the bank accounts of activists and other citizens, adding that is gross infringement of the fundamental right to fair hearing and property.

“Let the CBN stop freezing the Bank Accounts of activists because it constitutes a gross infringement of the fundamental right to fair hearing and property,” he said.

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“If the CBN does not desist from the illegal practice our courts should turn down frivolous applications for freezing the bank accounts of activists and other citizens.”

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