Following viral news of prominent figures of the #EndSARS campaign in Nigeria which caught global attention, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused the promoters of the #EndSARS campaign of financing and supporting terrorism in the country.
The Apex bank said that this was the reason for freezing their bank accounts for three months to allow for an investigation.
Recall CBN recently obtained an ex parte order to place an embargo on the accounts of those believed to have been active voices in the fight to end to police brutality and bad governance in the country. October 20 and things went out of hand when the world received a rude shock as soldiers opened fire on protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. Hence the government incured massive condemnation from reputed bodies and individuals from across the world.
Aftermath following allegations and counter allegations, news went viral that Miss Rinu Oduola, amongst others had their bank accounts frozen.
The CBN, before getting the order to freeze the accounts of those who actively took part in the protest, informed the court in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, filed before Justice A. R. Mohammed, that owners of the 20 accounts to be blocked were involved in acts capable of causing economic and security harm in Nigeria, Business Post reports.
“My lord, the nature of the transactions undertaken through the defendants’ accounts are of suspected terrorism financing in contravention of Section 13(1)(a)and(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act, 2013 and Regulation 31(2)(a)and (3)(b) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2013,” the CBN noted.
“There is a grave allegation that the defendants are involved in suspected terrorism financing via their bank accounts in contravention of the provisions of extant laws and regulations.
“The aforesaid transactions undertaken by the defendants, using their bank accounts, can cause significant economic and security harm to the public and the Federal Republic of Nigeria if left unchecked.
“The applicant (CBN governor) is thus desirous to have the court empower him to direct the freezing of the 20 accounts listed on the annexure to this application and all other bank accounts held by the defendants.
“A freezing order of this honourable court in respect of the defendants’ accounts would also enable the investigation of the activities of the defendants to a logical conclusion with a view to reporting same to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit,” the apex bank added.