20 EndSARS Protesters – A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the EndSARS protest.
The request was filed by the CBN on October 20, and was granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja High court.
20 EndSARS Protesters
The affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.
Others are: Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif. Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams, and Gatefield Nigeria Limited.
The court order, addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Zenith Bank, directed the banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 accounts on the list annexed to the CBN’s 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.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed averred, “A mandatory order is made empowering the plaintiff/applicant to direct the head office of Access Bank of Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Zenith Bank Plc to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 bank accounts listed for a period of 90 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“It is, however, directed that the 90-day freezing order, when it lapses, may be renewed upon good cause shown by the applicant.
“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 complaint heard by the court. The suit is adjourned till February 4, 2021.”
It will be recalled that several persons that participated in the #EndSARS protest had recently raised the alarm over their inability to have access to their bank accounts, with others lamenting alleged seizure of their travelling documents by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, so as to stop them from leaving the country.
Gatefield Nigeria Limited had earlier sued Access Bank Plc for allegedly blocking an account used to promote media coverage of the #EndSARS protests.