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#EndSARS: Nigerians condemn central bank’s order to freeze accounts

Many Nigerians view the central bank’s action as an infringement on the rights of those affected and a plot to gag activists.

• November 7, 2020
CBN Godwin Emefiele (credit: Bloomberg)
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele (credit: Bloomberg)

Nigerians on social media have denounced the central bank for instructing banks to freeze accounts belonging to one firm and figures who were involved in the #EndSARS movement.

Peoples Gazette exclusively reported yesterday how the central bank unilaterally had the accounts frozen without a court order, and then got a judge’s approval five days later.

Many Nigerians view the central bank’s action as an infringement on the rights of those affected and a gag on activism.

Former minister Oby Ezekwesili wrote on Twitter, “How lower is @cenbank ‘s Emefiele sinking? How did the governor get our country’s monetary authority mired in this? The Central Bank of Nigeria went to secure court order to freeze bank accounts of young #EndSARS protesters in a Democracy? Wow. No way this will end well.”

Journalist Fisayo Soyombo wrote, “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!”

Another Twitter user, @eboraowu, wrote, “Just so we are clear, Mr. Godwin Emefiele finds it hard to freeze the accounts of politicians who have stolen billions but in a few weeks can freeze the accounts of youth who protest and have spoken out against injustice.”

Two #EndSARS leaders have withdrawn from the Lagos panel of inquiry to protest against the central bank’s clampdown.

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