Access Bank Makes Move to Unfreeze Accounts of #EndSARS Protesters
By Dipo Olowookere
The management of Access Bank Plc has disclosed that it was making efforts to ensure that the accounts of eight of its customers frozen because of their alleged involvement in the #EndSARS protests last month are unfrozen.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had secured a court order to place an embargo on the bank accounts of 20 persons believed to have actively partaken in the protests, which later turned violent after some hoodlums hijacked the action.
The action of the apex bank was highly criticised by many, especially when the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had claimed that the #EndSARS campaigners were suspected to be supporting terrorism and hurting the economy.
Business Post gathered that eight of the 20 persons operated accounts with Access Bank and Friday, the lender, in a statement, expressed his worry about the matter.
The financial institution said it took the step in compliance with the directive of the watchdog of the banking industry in the country, CBN, especially when it got a court directive for it.
“It is common knowledge that we and the entire banking industry are regulated entities and therefore operate under the authority of our regulators and law enforcement agencies. As such we are compelled to comply with regulatory directives,” the lender explained.
However, it emphasised that efforts are being made to resolve the issues amicably.
“We want to express our sympathy for the inconvenience that eight of our customers are going through due to the restrictions on their accounts as mandated by a federal court order. We are eager for this to be resolved as soon as possible,” the bank stated, noting that it would play its part to ensure that they have access to their accounts as quickly as possible.”
Access Bank assured that it will continue to strive hard to deliver superior service to its customers, urging that “enquiries and views be channelled to the relevant regulatory and judicial agencies where the matter is receiving attention.
“It is, therefore, surprising that some individuals still choose to target Access Bank in a negative manner despite not being the source of the action,” the statement from the bank said.
It is important to note that Access Bank has always been at the forefront of innovative efforts in support of the development of our country. We embrace this role as we are also the largest employer of labour – a sizable number of which are youth.
The lender has always led the way with regard to support for young Nigerians in terms of capacity building and development of SMEs.
Recall that Access Bank launched an initiative to boost the creative industry with loan facilities aimed at capacity building and employment for individuals and businesses in movie production and distribution, fashion, IT and music. its commitment also extends to the support of small business owners through initiatives that provide access to finance for growth and expansion.
“We continue to be concerned by the inconvenience that our affected customers are experiencing. We stand ready to play our part to remedy the situation and have them using their accounts as quickly as possible,” the bank assured.