Friday, April 12, 2024

#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.”

Polio immunisation vaccine


In world first, Nigeria introduces new five-in-one vaccine against meningitis

Health workers roll out an immunisation campaign aiming to reach one million people.



U.S. government donates laboratory equipment to Nigeria to tackle disease outbreaks

The U.S. official also noted that Nigeria was facing several disease outbreaks.

FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike [Credit: Chi Geru]


Wike vows to bring development to rural areas in FCT

“The rural areas are part of the FCT and should enjoy good governance.”

Peter Mbah


Enugu govt. queries 164 civil servants for absenteeism

“We are also introducing electronic clock-in and the watchword is productivity.”

Governor Ademola Adeleke


Gov. Adeleke sets up committee to tackle sexual violence against women

The statement said the court would be dedicated to addressing issues of sexual and gender-based violence.