Tuesday, March 21, 2023

#EndSARS protesters involved in terrorism, CBN tells Federal High Court

Bank accounts of 20 #EndSARS champions were frozen after the Central Bank filed false allegations of terrorism to convince a federal judge in Abuja.

• November 11, 2020
CBN Godwin Emefiele (credit: Bloomberg)
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele (credit: Bloomberg)

The Central Bank of Nigeria appeared to have filed false claims to convince a federal judge to block bank accounts of #EndSARS protesters last month, Punch reported on Thursday.

The bank approached Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court was told that 20 bank accounts used to conduct #EndSARS transactions were linked to terrorism, Punch reported citing court filings.

“Tthe 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,” Punch cited excerpts of the bank charges.

But it seemed like the CBN did not present any evidence to the court other than the claim that the accounts made transfers that carried #EndSARS in line descriptions.

The report came days after Peoples Gazette uncovered the lawsuit itself and the order granted by Mr. Mohammed, which was argued on behalf of CBN by former attorney-general Michael Aondoakaa. 

It is a federal crime to file false charges in the manner CBN appeared to have done against citizens involved in the historic #EndSARS campaign, although it was unclear how the judge would react when the matter comes up again. 

The ex-parte order blocking the bank accounts was granted for an initial 90 days, but those affected have already filed separate charges to revoke it. Ex-parte orders are temporary reliefs to a party that initiated a lawsuit, often before defendants are even served court papers.

Gatefield Limited, a media rights group which raised funds to support journalists covering the protests, was the only organisation targeted in the CBN freeze.

Gatefield CEO Adewunmi Emoruwa quickly contested the restrictions on the organisation’s account as illegal and directed lawyers to seek their invalidation before a federal judge. 

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Katsina State


Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku

“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”



Gunmen kidnap girl in Ondo, demand N10 million ransom

The police command in Ondo has confirmed the abduction of a 19-year-old girl, Adetutu Okinbaloye, from her home in the Imoru community.

David Umahi


I used ‘excess grace’ to become senator, choose my successor, Umahi boasts

Mr Umahi has boasted he is a man with “excess grace” from God, which enabled him to win a senatorial seat and enthroned a successor as governor.

Kenya Police


Anti-Ruto Protest: Kenyan police say student shot dead, six wounded

A university student in Kenya was killed and six police officers injured in protests against President William Ruto’s government over high living costs, police said.



Fire guts lace fabrics shops in Onitsha market

An early morning fire razed a two-storey building housing the Onitsha main market police station and shops selling lace fabrics on Tuesday.

Tukur Mamu


Terrorism Financing: Tukur Mamu pleads not guilty to 10-count charge

Mr Mamu was also accused of exchanging voice note communications concerning acts of terrorism with Baba Adamu, a Boko Haram spokesperson.



Abuja Blackout: AEDC says efforts ongoing to restore power to Bwari, others

AEDC revealed that “all responsible stakeholders are currently working hard to restore the power supply soonest.”