The Federal High Court in Abuja has been petitioned by 16 persons, who participated in the #EndSARS protests in October and had their accounts frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to unfreeze their accounts.
This was disclosed by Channels TV on Friday evening. The people with frozen accounts are represented by prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).
Nairametrics reported last week that CBN had received the nod of the Federal High Court in Abuja to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests till January.
The CBN told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities.
Channels said, “While contending that the freezing of their bank accounts was an act of illegality, they stressed that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele froze the accounts before approaching the court much later for a freezing order.”
They also argued that the court order permitting Emefiele to freeze their accounts for 90 days was a violation of their right to fair hearing under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
The campaigners also added that the acts of freezing accounts violates Order 26 Rules 5, 10, and 11(1) and (2) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, which prescribes a maximum of 14 days for the validity of an ex parte order. They said the CBN did not have the power to label them as terrorists, citing the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011, and the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2013.
The 16 persons involved in the suit are Bolatito ‘Rinu’ Oduala, Chima Ibebunjoh, Mary Kpengwa, Saadat Bibi, Bassey Israel, Wisdom Obi, Nicholas Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Yusuf, Uhuo Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye, Adegoke Pamilerin, Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mary Oshifowora and Idunnu Williams.
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