The Central Bank of Nigeria after freezing the #EndSARS promoters’ account of at least 20 persons in October, it also accused the promoters of terrorism.
The CBN made the accusation at the Federal High Court in Abuja to support the ex parte motion in order to receive its order to freeze the accounts.
The Apex bank in its written address with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, before Justice A. R. Mohammed, failed to explain or give its fact that the frozen accounts has their hands in the #EndSARS campaign, but suspect the accounts was for ‘terrorism financing’.
One Aondowase Jacob testified that the Head of the Economic Intelligence Unit of the CBN Governor’s Department, Joseph Omayuku, had carried out an investigation on the defendants’ accounts and it revealed that the campaigners may have been involved in terrorist activities contradicting the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2013.
It reads, “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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, a forerunner of the #EndSARS protests, Aisha Yesufu questioned the CBN’s illegal action, stating the government should be ashamed of itself.
Yesufu said the Federal Government should focus on the real terrorists and accuse the government of giving preferential treatment to Boko Haram and clamping down on the peaceful protesters.
She said, “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.”