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.
The request, granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was filed by the CBN on October 20.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020 listed those affected by the order to include 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 include Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mulu Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Jacob, Victor Solomon, and Idunu Williams.
The order reads
“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.”
According to the court paper, the lawyers representing the CBN were led by a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN).
Justice A.R Mohammed ordered that the accounts should be frozen for the next 90 days subject to renewal.
The judge did not order that the defendants be served with any court process thereby leaving them unaware of the restriction of their accounts.
Recall that one of the promoters of the protest, Modupe Odele, had her passport seized while on her way to the Maldives for her birthday.