The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been granted the power from the Federal High Court, Abuja, to freeze the accounts of 20 suspected #EndSARS promoters till January next year.
Justice A.R. Mohammed gave the order while ruling on an ex-parte application filed by the apex bank through a team of lawyers led by a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa (SAN).
Specifically, the court, in a ruling that as delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, granted CBN leave to freeze all the accounts till January 2021.
However, the order is subject to renewal upon an application by the CBN.
The certified true copy of the order obtained on Friday by an online platform, Peoples Gazette, showed that the CBN applied for the restriction of the 20 accounts on October 20 which was several days after it had already ordered commercial banks to freeze the accounts of the suspected #EndSARS promoters.
Listed in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020 were – Bolatito Oduala, Chima Ibebunjoh, Mary Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Bibi, Bassey Israel, Wisdom Obi, Nicholas Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Yusuf, Uhuo Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye and Adegoke Emmanuel.
Others were -Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mulu Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Jacob, Victor Solomon, and Idunu Williams.
The accounts were domiciled in Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Zenith Bank.
Justice Mohammed said: “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.”