Court Orders CBN to Unfreeze 20 #EndSARS Protesters’ Accounts
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been directed to unfreeze the bank accounts of 20 persons linked with the famous #EndSARS protests in the country in 2020.
In October 2020, some youths in the country mobilised themselves to protest against police brutality, especially by officers of the disbanded dreadful Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The nationwide demonstration was triggered by the alleged killing of a young man in Delta State by policemen.
A video of the unfortunate incident was posted online and the youths became angrier at the way they were being treated by security officials in their own country.
Determined to put an end to this, some celebrities called on youths to protest against the brutality across the country. The issue led to the disbandment of the police unit.
However, after the action by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Adamu Abubakar, the youths further pushed other demands, including good governance.
Despite calls to them to leave the streets and promises that their voices have been heard loud and clear, they were adamant and on October 20, 2020, some persons believed to be soldiers from the Nigerian Army allegedly opened fire on peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate.
After the infamous shooting, some persons believed to be the leaders of the #EndSARS protesters were chased after by the government.
Also, the bank accounts of 20 of them were blocked by the CBN on the grounds that they financed terrorism. The apex bank had said it obtained a court order to freeze the accounts for 90 days, which expired on February 2, 2021, but the embargoes were not lifted afterwards.
On Wednesday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the central bank to remove the restriction of the accounts of 20 #EndSARS protesters.
The judge ruled to set aside the order freezing the accounts of the #EndSARS promoters made on November 4, 2020, after counsels to the CBN and the protesters agreed to put an end to the case.