A report by Peoples Gazzete, an online Newspaper has confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria led by Godwin Emefiele through a court order froze 20 bank accounts linked to supporters of the #EndSARS campaign last month.
Nigerians in October in their large numbers took to the street in demanding for the scrapping of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a notorious Police unit of the Nigeria Police accused of carrying out and extra-judicial killings of Nigerians.
Some Nigerians after the suspension of the #EndSARS protest began complaining that their bank accounts were frozen in relation to their roles in the call for an end to Police brutality across the country.
Emefiele was reported to have filed an ex-parte court application to freeze the account on October 20, which was promptly granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
The bank accounts blocked included those run by Gatefield, a public interest think-tank, and Bassey Israel, a pharmacist. Gatefield has already filed a lawsuit challenging the freezing of its account.
Israel who was in charge of the #EndSARS medical team in Port Harcourt, in an interview Punch Newspaper, said his account with Access Bank marked 003397XXXX had remained frozen since October 15.
He said, “I am in charge of End SARS medical team in Port Harcourt and we had people donating for medical supplies, food, water, ambulance services and these donations were made directly into my account and of course these donations had End SARS descriptions so I think that was how they were able to flag my account. I noticed that on October 15, I was trying to make a debit transaction on my account and noticed that there was a restriction.
“So, I called the bank and I was told that there was indeed a restriction but I should go to any branch near me and when I did so, the branch manager sent a mail to the branch where I opened the account. The response to the mail was that there was a directive from the CBN to restrict the account.
“The lady was surprised and even asked me if I had any issue with the CBN and I responded that if I had any issue with the CBN, I wouldn’t be in the bank in the first place, I would be on the run. I asked what could be done and she gave me no answer. She had to show me the mail on her computer which I read. It was directly from the CBN and it read, ‘Place this account on PND.”
The case was also said to have been argued by Micheal Aondokaa, a former attorney-general of the federal under the late President Umaru Musa Yar-adua government.
He was said to have argued the case for the freezing of the accounts on behalf of CBN.
The lawyers did not say what the #EndSARS campaigners did against the law to attract freezing of their bank accounts.
The full list includes: Bolatito Rachael Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi,, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele
Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye, Adegoke Pamilerin Emmanuel, Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams.
Click to view the court document: CBN-COURT-ORDER-GATEFIELD