…..strikes out CBN’s suit
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA–The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, vacated an order it made on November 4, 2020, which directed banks to freeze accounts that were linked to alleged promoters of the #EndSARS protest that rocked the nation last year.
The court, in a ruling by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, ordered all the commercial banks affected by the order, to “immediately” defreeze the accounts, even as it struck out the suit that was filed against the alleged #EndSARS promoters by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and its governor.
The order came after all the parties in the CBN’s suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, notified the court that they had resolved to amicably settle the matter by withdrawing all the processes they earlier filed with respect to the suit.
While the CBN and its governor were represented by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Michael Aondoakaa, SAN, all the persons affected by the freezing order were represented by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN.
The senior lawyers told the court at the resumed proceedings in the matter on Wednesday that their decision to withdraw all the processes in the suit was to allow the reconciliation process that is ongoing before various panels of enquiry on police brutality across the country, to progress unhindered.
After he had listened to the parties, Justice Mohammed accordingly struck out the suit.
It will be recalled that the court had on the strength of an ex-parte application that was brought before it by the CBN and its governor, ordered banks to freeze accounts of the alleged promoters of the #EndSARS protest for a period of 180days.
The CBN had maintained that the freezing order would enable it to conclude its investigations on the affected bank accounts.