Controversies have trailed the ex parte order obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze the accounts of 20 individuals and an organisation linked to the #EndSARS campaign.
Many Nigerians especially youths have taken to social media to condemn the move by the apex bank.
Also, youth representatives at the Lagos judicial panel, who had expressed outrage decided to boycott their participation at the sitting on Saturday.
Rinu Oduala, a member of the panel is said to have been affected. The Lagos Judicial Panel adjourned its sitting till November 14th because members could not form a quorum.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja 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.
According to details of the order, the request, filed by the apex bank on October 20, was granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed.
Amongst those affected are 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.
One of the EndSARS promoters whose account got frozen, Adegoke Pamilerin said, “My account has been frozen for over 2 weeks. Apparently CBN froze my account before they got a court order. Nigeria My Country, where the big and mighty do as they wish”
The court 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 and respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Many have condemned the move, describing it as an attempt to incite a second wave of #EndSARS protests across the country.
Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of all legitimate force against riotous and violent protests to protect lives and property of citizens.
Popular TV host, Frank Edoho, @frankedoho tweeted, “So this useless government is freezing the account of #EndSARS protesters. Young people came out peacefully to implore the leaders to terminate a section of the police responsible for murders and their response is to freeze accounts? This government contains old fools.”
Also, PDP Candidate for Lagos East Senatorial District, Babatunde Gbadamosi said, “Freezing the accounts of organisers of a peaceful protest is ECONOMIC TERRORISM by the CBN. Does Godwin Emefiele sanction the brutality of SARS?”
Activist Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong said, “Free advice to #EndSARS protesters whose bank accounts have been frozen: Before you go to court or take any legal action, apply for and obtain the CTC of the ex-parte motion with the affidavit and other processes filed by the CBN Governor.
@EiENigeria said, “The Nigerian government wants us, when faced with official actions with which we disagree, to obey and submit without daring to object. Case in view: seizure of passports, freezing of accounts by CBN, continued arrests of #EndSARS protesters, blame game, etc. #EnoughIsEnough”
Investigative journalist, @fisayosoyombo said, “The freezing of @Gatefieldco’s Journalism Fund account by @myaccessbank & Godwin Emefiele’s @cenbank is a disguised attack on press freedom. Because they funded journalists to cover police brutality stories? Did Gatefield start supporting public-interest journalism yesterday?… CBN has now become so idle that it’s most pressing mandate is chasing the court for an order to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a company that supported the #EndSARS movement. But ask them to strengthen the naira against the dollar and it’s mission impossible!
@ayosogunro said, “With every passing day, there is more reason for #EndSARS protest. Along with the original issues, now we protest against: #LekkiMassacre and #oyingbomassacre, freezing of protester’s bank accounts, seizing of protester’s passports, the unconstitutional ban on protests.