Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has reacted to the opinion of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, that the #EndSARS demonstrators were economic saboteurs.
Justice Tsoho had on Tuesday at the ceremony during the commencement of the 2020/2021 legal year of the Federal High Court in Abuja, said this while trying to justify the order issued by a judge of the court, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, which approved the freezing the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters.
He stated that during the protests, the Central Bank of Nigeria kept filing applications to challenge the deliberate attempts to ruin the economy through what he term as money laundering.
He added, “So if it was the #EndSARS people that were involved in the activities under cover then it is unfortunate for people to begin to call and vilify the court making damaging allegations against the court.”
Falana responding to the Chief Judge’s claim on Thursday said the protest promoters were not economic destroyers but patriotic citizens.
Falana, a lawyer to the #EndSARS campaigners whose accounts were frozen by the CBN, revealed that the apex bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, held a virtual meeting with the promoters in the wake of the peaceful protests.
He said but when Emefiele failed to convince them to call off the protest, he then employed to obtaining ex parte order to freeze the accounts of the protest promoters.
He said, “Since the application of the 20 #EndSARS promoters seeking to quash the ex parte order freezing their bank accounts is pending before the Federal High Court presided over by the Honourable Justice R.A. Mohammed, I have persuaded our clients to refrain from joining issues with the Honourable Chief Judge over the controversial ex cathedra statement.
“However, it is pertinent to state that the 20 #EndSARS were not sued as corporate bodies but as individuals whose names and bank accounts are listed in all the processes filed in the court by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“I wish to say, without any fear of contradiction that the #EndSARS protesters are not economic saboteurs but patriotic citizens who protested against incessant police brutality.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the case was filed on October 20, 2020, while the order ex parte was issued on November 4, 2020, after the #EndSARS protests.”