According to reports, the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria to freeze accounts of 19 Nigerians and public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests was granted after the court was told that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities.
The CBN had frozen 20 accounts of End SARS promoters and thereafter approached the court to seek an ex parte order to freeze the accounts.
This was contained in the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, filed before Justice A. R. Mohammed, of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The apex bank reportedly failed to mention that the 20 accounts were owned by persons involved in the #EndSARS protests, but went on to tell the court that the funds might have emanated from terrorist activities.
The written address read in part, “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.”
One Aondowase Jacob, in an affidavit released on behalf of the CBN, noted that the Head of the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Governor’s Department, CBN, Joseph Omayuku, had conducted an investigation on the accounts of the defendants and other individuals and entities held with certain banks in Nigeria.
According to the affidavit, an investigation carried out has shown that the owners of the accounts may have been involved in terrorist activities.