The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused #EndSARS campaigners of terrorist activities.
The Federal Government had last week froze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS protesters. According to reports, the CBN told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in the accounts of the protesters might have been linked with terrorist activities.
The accounts ordered to be frozen by the CBN domiciled in Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank.
The case was filed before Justice A.R. Mohammed. The CBN noted that the nature of the transactions undertaken by the accounts of the #EndSARS promoters are suspected of terrorism.
“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,” the suit read.
According to the Head of the Economic Intelligence Unit of the CBN Governor’s Department, Joseph Omayuku, investigation on the accounts of the defendants were carried out.
An affidavit filed by one Aondowase Jacob (as seen on Punch), revealed that the investigation showed that the owners of the accounts may have been involved in terrorist activities.
“There is a grave allegation that the defendants are involved in suspected terrorism financing via their bank accounts in contravention of the provisions of extant laws and regulations. The aforesaid transactions undertaken by the defendants, using their bank accounts, can cause significant economic and security harm to the public and the Federal Republic of Nigeria if left unchecked.
“The applicant (CBN governor) is thus desirous to have the court empower him to direct the freezing of the 20 accounts listed on the annexure to this application and all other bank accounts held by the defendants.
“A freezing order of this honourable court in respect of the defendants’ accounts would also enable the investigation of the activities of the defendants to a logical conclusion with a view to reporting same to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.”
The 20 accounts were frozen for 180days by the court.
Reacting to the development, the #EndSARS protesters condemned the accounts of the Federal Government.
Aisha Yesufu, a leading promoter of the #EndSARS protest, noted that the freezing of the accounts was illegal, adding that the Nigerian Government were behaving like terrorists.
She noted that the FG pampers terrorists, but however treats peaceful protesters calling for a better Nigeria as terrorists.
“The question is, why did they freeze the accounts before obtaining a court injunction? Why the illegality? Our judiciary should know that it is an independent arm of government and there is separation of power.
“The government should be ashamed of itself. The United Arab Emirates just convicted some Nigerians, who were accused of terrorism, and we are hearing that the government would appeal on their behalf. That is where the problem is.”
“#EndSARS campaigners are protesters and they protested the way the Constitution allows, so all these are shenanigans. They had better focus on the terrorists.
“Bandits are laying down their arms and they are taking them to Government Houses, while Boko Haram members are being given preferential treatment, but Nigerians, who were protesting, were being killed by the government. The government is the one behaving like a terrorist right now.”
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.