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DESPITE public outcries, Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo State, has backed the action of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) freezing bank accounts belonging to #EndSARS promoters.
“Speaking very honestly, I don’t see anything wrong in it,” the governor said while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.
“If for instance, my account was frozen, what would I do? All I would do is go back to court to explain. Even politicians, their accounts are sometimes frozen. You have to go to court and explain. And at the end of the day, the court will say, ‘Leave the account. The account should be de-frozen’ and you take your money back,” he added.
Akeredolu who downplayed insinuations that the protesters are being charged for a treasonable offence stated that the owners of the accounts should justify the money in their accounts.
“If your account is frozen, you justify why the money was there. You come to explain what use you have put this money in. If it is that ‘Okay, we used this money to pay this caterer to give food to these boys when they were there. We spent money before the hoodlums took over,’ it will be explained, people will know and the accounts will be de-frozen.
“It is just that we (CBN) suspected this account then the owner of the account will explain,” he said, noting stressing that it “is not a conclusion that those accounts were used for acts of treason.”
CBN Court Order
Last week, an Abuja federal high court presided by Ahmed Mohammed, granted the request of the CBN to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests.
The court order addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Zenith Bank, directed the banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 accounts on the list annexed to the CBN’s application as Exhibit A and all other bank accounts of the defendants/respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.
Others are Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif. Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams, and Gatefield Nigeria Limited.
Many Nigerians and civil societies organizations have described the action of the apex bank as abuse of power.