CBN freeze accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has authorised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters with immediate effect.

The accounts are domiciled in Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Zenith Bank.

The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry set up in the aftermath of the violence sparked by the #EndSARS protests on Friday granted counsel to three #EndSARS protesters access to a surveillance video which captured the October 20 shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.

Granting the prayers of Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, Justice A.R. Mohammed said the apex bank empowered him to direct the head office of each of the banks to “freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 Bank Accounts listed hereunder and all other bank accounts of the Defendants/Respondents for a period of 90 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted” by the CBN.

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The defendants 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.

The rest are Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mulu Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Jacob, Victor Solomon and Idunu Williams.

The court also said 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.”

Also on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari received a report on destructions resulting from the violence in Lagos from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while Amnesty International vowed threats to the lives of its staff would not stop it from condemning perceived human rights abuses in Nigeria.

An #EndSARS promoter, Modupe Odele, was last Sunday stopped by immigration officials from boarding a plane to the Maldives to celebrate her birthday.

Odele, who is a lawyer, admitted offering free legal aid to protesters who were unjustly arrested during #EndSARS protests through www.endsarslegalaid.co and they succeeded in helping over 80 peaceful protesters who were arrested get released.

“I’m not a full-time activist or human rights attorney. I am a corporate lawyer at the moment, so dealing with police stations isn’t my area of expertise. I did what needed to be done in the face of gross injustice and had the support of over 800 wonderful volunteer lawyers,” she said on Twitter.

The spokesman of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Sunday James, said Odele was under travel restriction on the orders of an agency of government

He said: “When there is a directive from any agency of government not specific, we have to enforce either entry or restriction of entry by anybody who has been directed not to be allowed exit or entry, and as a matter of fact, we cannot as a border management agency, allow anybody who has been restricted from leaving the country to go out and we cannot allow anybody who has been restricted from entry to enter.

“So, it is a routine assignment and it has nothing to do with EndSARS. We are the lead agency for the security management of the border. It has to do with the restriction order which we are duty-bound to enforce.”

Odele said yesterday that the NIS had contacted her to come and pick her passport which was seized on Sunday.