Court Unfreezes Lawyer’s 18 Bank Accounts Blocked By CBN | AfroNaija

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Court unfreezes lawyer’s 18 bank accounts blocked by CBN


Court unfreezes lawyer’s 18 bank accounts blocked by CBN

Court unfreezes lawyer’s 18 bank accounts blocked by CBN

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the immediate unfreezing of 18 bank accounts operated by a lawyer Ojukwu Chikaosolu and his company, Stabilization Energy Ltd, blocked earlier on the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the order while ruling on Monday on two applications by Chikaosolu, challenging the post no debit order placed on the 18 accounts in various banks.

Justice Mohammed observed that from affidavit evidence before his court, only the applicant (Chikaosolu) collected $4000 dollars BTA/PTA, and he exhibited all travel documents to really show that he travelled and utilized the said money.

The judge held that if the CBN found the transaction suspicious, it could only attach the account used in obtaining the PTA and not all the accounts of the customer.

He added: “I have perused through the counter affidavit of the respondent (CBN), but I have not seen any averement denying that the applicant did not utilize the $4000 dollars BTA/PTA.

“Publishing the names of alleged violators of the CBN Forex policy without annexing documents leaves much to be desired.

“Another disturbing issue is that accounts of other defendants, who never received the BTA/PTA and never utilized it, were equally frozen on the directive of the CBN.

“Having failed to discharge the burden of proof placed by law on the respondent, this court holds that the action of the respondent (CBN) in directing banks to freeze the accounts of the applicant is preemptive, unlawful, and cannot stand in eyes of the law.

“It is hereby set aside. The affected banks are hereby directed to unfreeze the bank accounts of the applicants immediately,” the judge said.

The CBN had, by an ex-parte application filed on March 2, 2022 in the name of its Governor, applied for an order freezing 383 bank accounts for 180 days on the grounds that it was investigating allegations that certain customers of commercial/ merchant banks received foreign exchange under the false pretext of international travel.

The court, in a ruling on March 14, made an order empowering the CBN Governor to direct the Head Offices of the named banks to freeze the accounts of customers alleged to have received BTA/PTA under false pretence of travelling abroad.

Chikaosolu, whose 18 accounts were among those affected by the order, applied to the court to have his accounts unfrozen and denied any wrongdoing.

He prayed the court for among others, an order of Court directing the Managing Directors of GTBank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and Standard Chartered Bank or anyone under their control to lift and discharge all restrictions imposed on the 18 accounts listed as Nos. 297-315 in the order of this court made on 14th March 2022.”

The post Court unfreezes lawyer’s 18 bank accounts blocked by CBN appeared first on NEWS.

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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