CBN obtains court order to freeze #EndSARS promoters’ accounts – Newstrends
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CBN obtains court order to freeze #EndSARS promoters’ accounts

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has obtained a court order to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters till January 2021.

The order was pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the CBN before a Federal High Court.

The certified true copy of the order obtained by an online medium, Peoples Gazette, showed that the CBN applied for the restriction of the 20 accounts on October 20 which was several days after it had already ordered commercial banks to freeze the accounts.

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020 listed the 20 defendants as – Bolatito Oduala, Chima Ibebunjoh, Mary Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Bibi, Bassey Israel, Wisdom Obi, Nicholas Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Yusuf, Uhuo Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye and Adegoke Emmanuel.

Others include Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mulu Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Jacob, Victor Solomon, and Idunu Williams.

The banks where the accounts are domiciled include Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Zenith Bank.

The lawyers representing the CBN were led by a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN).

Justice A.R Mohammed ordered that the accounts should be frozen for the next 90 days subject to renewal.

“It is hereby ordered as follows, ‘A mandatory order is made empowering the plaintiff/applicant to direct the head office of Access Bank of Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Zenith Bank Plc to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 bank accounts listed for a period of 90 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“It is, however, directed that the 90-day freezing order, when it lapses, may be renewed upon good cause shown by the applicant.

“It is also directed that any person, whether artificial or natural, that is affected by this order may apply to the court to have his grievance or complaint heard by the court. The suit is adjourned till February 4, 2021.”

It was, however, observed that the judge did not order that the defendants be served with any court process, thereby leaving them unaware of the restriction of their accounts.

The PUNCH had reported on Wednesday that the Federal Government had clamped down on notable persons who took part in the #EndSARS protests.

The Nigeria Immigration Service had on Sunday prevented one of such persons, Modupe Odele aka Mochievous, from leaving the country and seized her passport.

The Rivers State medical coordinator of the #EndSARS protest, Bassey Israel, had also told this newspaper that his account was frozen and had threatened to sue the bank.

-The Punch

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Kogi guber Tribunal: Tension as suspected thugs invade Abuja court, abduct 3 witnesses

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Kogi guber Tribunal: Tension as suspected thugs invade Abuja court, abduct 3 witnesses

On Monday, some alleged thugs stormed the National Judicial Institute in Abuja, where the Tribunal was sitting.

They broke into the courtroom during the current Kogi State Governorship Tribunal to kidnap three witnesses.

According to sources, the thugs pretended to be AA supporters who had come to Court in sympathy, only to incite an altercation and break the windscreen of the bus carrying the witnesses before abducting them and rushing them into a waiting vehicle.

The three abducted witnesses have been named as Idris Khadijat, Safiyat Muhammed, and Abdulmalik Muhammed.

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According to available information, the abductees are currently being mistreated, and their family members have been intimidated for daring to testify against Kogi State Governor Ododo Ahmed. As at the time of making this report, the whereabouts of other witnesses remain unknown.

Reports also suggest that vehicles which conveyed the witnesses to the court proceedings were vandalized by the same thugs.

Confirmation revealed that the attack was carried out due to the strength of AA candidate’s petition as evidences being presented are strong enough for the court to unseat Ododo Ahmed, the governor of the state.

Disturbingly, radio stations in the central senatorial district recently broadcasted a warning to the residents, cautioning them against serving as witnesses for any political party other than APC.

Kogi guber Tribunal: Tension as suspected thugs invade Abuja court, abduct 3 witnesses

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NIN-SIM linkage: Court bars MTN others from deactivating subscribers’ lines

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NIN-SIM linkage: Court bars MTN others from deactivating subscribers’ lines

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained telecommunication operators in Nigeria from deactivating or barring any line or sim which has not been linked to the National Identification Number (NIN) by their subscribers.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa ruled while ruling on a suit filed by a lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, seeking to stop the move that infringed on his fundamental rights.

Ogungbeje, in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/667/23, joined the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited as respondents.

Specifically, the lawyer had asked the court for an injunction pending appeal, restraining all the respondents jointly or severally, whether by themselves or their agents. Outlets, agencies, privies, officials, servants, men, parastatals, units, organs, or anybody or person, however so called, from taking any step or action capable of enforcing the judgment in any way and from further outright barring, deactivating and or restricting any SIM cards or his phone Lines, or of any Nigerian Citizen, slated for February 28, 2024, or any other scheduled date, pending the hearing and determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, against the judgment of this Honourable Court delivered on May 8, 2023.

At the court’s last sitting, the judge was informed that none of the respondents had filed their counter to the motion to the suit.

However, after the applicant had moved his application, a lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice pleaded with the court that he needed more time to respond to the motion.

The applicant vehemently opposed the application because all parties were served with all the processes and the hearing notice in the matter but failed to file counters.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa, in his ruling after perusing the court file acceded to the lawyer’s request and restrained the telecom operators in the country from barring, deactivating and or restricting any SIM cards or his phone Lines or of any Nigerian Citizen stated for 28 of February 2024.

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Justice Lewis-Allagoa also ruled that his order subsists till the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by the lawyer.

Ogungbeje had informed the court that his motion on notice is premised under Order 26 Rule 1 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019; Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); Section 6 (6)(B) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

He listed ten grounds for seeking the application, which include; “That sometimes in April 2022, the Appellant/Applicant herein took out an Originating Summons against the Respondents challenging the action of the Respondents in undermining the judicial powers of the Court and the Nigerian legal system and thus infringing on the applicant’s fundamental rights.

“That this Honourable Court, in a well-considered Judgment delivered on the 8th of May 2023, dismissed the appellant/applicant originating summons.

“The appellant/applicant, dissatisfied with the Judgment, has exercised his constitutional right of appeal by lodging a Notice of Appeal against the Judgment of this Honourable Court on the 26th of July 2023 by the lower Court.

“That the Appellant/applicant’s appeal is against the whole decision contained in the Judgment of this Honourable Court.

“That the Respondents are aware of the appellant/applicant’s appeal to the Court of Appeal of Nigeria as the Respondents have since been duly served with the Appellant/Applicant’s Notice of Appeal.

“That despite the pendency of the appellant/applicant’s appeal, efforts are in top gear by the respondents, specifically on the 28th of February 2024, to ensure further and outright barring, deactivating and restricting of SIM cards and Phone lines of the Applicant and that of Nigerian citizens.

“That the appellant/applicant appeal to the Court of Appeal of Nigeria “has a high degree of success against the Respondents

“There is the need to preserve the rest subject matter of the appeal pending the hearing and determination of the Appellant/Applicant appeal at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria.

“That the appellant/applicant is desirously interested in diligently pursuing the instant appeal that has raised a novel and recondite issue substantially jurisprudential constituting an exceptional circumstance in which this Honourable Court can grant an application of this nature.

“That the Court has the power and jurisdiction to grant application of this nature in the interest of Justice,” he stated.

NIN-SIM linkage: Court bars MTN others from deactivating subscribers’ lines

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NLC Protest: ‘Go to work unfailingly ‘ — TUC tells members, affiliates in 36 states, FCT

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NLC president Joe Ajaero, President Bola Tinubu and TUC president Festus Osifo

NLC Protest: ‘Go to work unfailingly ‘ — TUC tells members, affiliates in 36 states, FCT

On Monday night, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued a memo instructing its members and affiliates in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to report to work as usual on February 27 and 28, 2024.

“I write to direct all affiliates and the thirty-six state Councils and FCT of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria to ensure they go to work unfailingly on these dates,” stated TUC President Festus Osifo in the internal memo. “we expect your compliance.”

The NLC, through the protests, aim to express dissatisfaction with the worsening economic situation and the rising cost of living in Nigeria.

The union rejected a last-minute attempt by the Federal Government, led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, to prevent the protests. Akume met with the NLC, TUC, and other labor leaders on Monday night.

While the TUC won’t join the NLC protests, Osifo emphasised the urgent need to expedite discussions on enacting the new national minimum wage into law. He addressed a press conference in Abuja on Monday, highlighting the growing hunger and hardship faced by Nigerian workers and citizens.

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Osifo argued that the government and private sector’s prompt passage and faithful implementation of the new minimum wage would enhance workers’ disposable income and purchasing power. He added that the TUC has been investigating the root causes of the country’s economic problems and potential solutions over the past few weeks.

Uncontrolled Naira devaluation and widespread insecurity were identified by Osifo as the primary causes of the economic difficulties. He outlined the TUC’s proposed short, medium, and long-term solutions, which include: fixing the real value of the Naira, deliberate steps to address the allegation that sub-national governments throw billions of dollars monthly into the parallel market and dollarisation of political party primaries and electioneering.

The solutions also included the clampdown on speculative trading in the foreign exchange market, patronising made-in-Nigeria goods, strengthening the economic management team and curbing crude oil theft, among others.

NLC Protest: ‘Go to work unfailingly ‘ — TUC tells members, affiliates in 36 states, FCT

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