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CBN Accuses 20 #EndSARS Campaigners Of Terrorism, Says Transactions In Frozen Accounts Can Cause Security Harm

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The Federal Government was able to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after telling a Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities.

This is according to a written address in support of a motion ex parte filed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN had in the second week of October frozen 20 accounts and thereafter approached the court to seek an ex parte order to freeze the accounts.

In the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, filed before Justice A. R. Mohammed, the CBN, however, made no mention of the fact that the 20 accounts were owned by persons involved in the #EndSARS protests, but told the court that the funds might have emanated from terrorist activities.

The written address read in part, “My lord, the nature of the transactions undertaken through the defendants’ accounts are of suspected terrorism financing in contravention of Section 13(1)(a)and(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act, 2013 and Regulation 31(2)(a)and (3)(b) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2013.”

In a supporting affidavit deposed to by one Aondowase Jacob on behalf of the CBN, it was stated that the Head of the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Governor’s Department, CBN, Joseph Omayuku, had conducted an investigation on the accounts of the defendants and other individuals and entities held with certain banks in Nigeria.

According to the affidavit, the investigation showed that the owners of the accounts may have been involved in terrorist activities.

It added, “There is a grave allegation that the defendants are involved in suspected terrorism financing via their bank accounts in contravention of the provisions of extant laws and regulations. The aforesaid transactions undertaken by the defendants, using their bank accounts, can cause significant economic and security harm to the public and the Federal Republic of Nigeria if left unchecked.

“The applicant (CBN governor) is thus desirous to have the court empower him to direct the freezing of the 20 accounts listed on the annexure to this application and all other bank accounts held by the defendants.

“A freezing order of this honourable court in respect of the defendants’ accounts would also enable the investigation of the activities of the defendants to a logical conclusion with a view to reporting the same to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.”

The apex bank said unless the order was granted, it would not be able to ensure that the money remained intact, while investigations were ongoing.

The 20 accounts frozen by the CBN are domiciled in Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa, and Zenith Bank.

The accounts were said to have been flagged after they received money with the narration #EndSARS.

One of the frozen accounts, marked 0056412470 and domiciled in Access Bank, belongs to Bolatito Olorunrinu Oduala, an #EndSARS campaigner, who was appointed into the Lagos State judicial panel set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Another frozen account marked 0033974485 and domiciled in Access Bank belongs to Bassey Israel, the medical team coordinator for the #EndSARS protests in Port Harcourt.

Similarly, an account marked 0054676984 domiciled in Access Bank belongs to Gatefield Nigeria Limited, which paid freelance journalists to cover the protests.

Justice Mohammed froze the accounts for 180 days subject to renewal but said anyone who was not satisfied with the ruling was free to challenge it.

Freezing protesters’ accounts illegal – Aisha Yesufu

A leading member of the #EndSARS protesters, Aisha Yesufu, described the freezing of the #EndSARS protesters’ accounts as illegal, noting that the government “is behaving like a terrorist.”

She questioned the freezing of the accounts ahead of the court injunction ordering the banks to block the accounts.

Yesufu stated, “The question is, why did they freeze the accounts before obtaining a court injunction? Why the illegality? Our judiciary should know that it is an independent arm of government and there is a separation of power.

“The government should be ashamed of itself. The United Arab Emirates just convicted some Nigerians, who were accused of terrorism, and we are hearing that the government would appeal on their behalf. That is where the problem is.”

The activist accused the Federal Government of pampering insurgents while bearing down on peaceful and harmless protesters.

She added, “#EndSARS campaigners are protesters and they protested the way the Constitution allows, so all these are shenanigans. They had better focus on the terrorists.

“Bandits are laying down their arms and they are taking them to Government Houses, while Boko Haram members are being given preferential treatment, but Nigerians, who were protesting, were being killed by the government. The government is the one behaving like a terrorist right now.”

BIG STORY

Nigerian Government Demands Apology From UK Over Claim That Gowon Looted Central Bank

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The federal government has demanded an apology from the British government over the “unsubstantiated” claim by a member of its parliament that Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former head of state, looted the public treasury.

Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesman of the ministry of foreign affairs, in a statement on Friday, said Nigeria has also demanded that the statement be retracted.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the UK parliament foreign affairs committee, had accused Gowon of looting half of Nigeria’s central bank when he left office.

Speaking at the parliament’s recent debate on the #EndSARS crisis, Tugendhat said: “Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the Central Bank, so it is said, and moved to London.”

However, the MP did not provide any evidence or source to support his claim.

Nwonye said the ministry, upon learning of the claim, “immediately sought an apology and retraction of the unsubstantiated allegation from the British Government”.

He said the federal government also consulted with Charlotte Pierre, head of Africa Department of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, who “expressed strong reservations on the comment of the Parliamentarian”.

The statement quoted Pierre as saying “the said comment of the MP does not reflect the views of Her Majesty’s Government and the British Government has no mechanism for controlling the actions and speeches of members of the Parliament.”

It added that she urged Nigeria to “discountenance the said comment of the MP, as Her Majesty’s Government has nothing to do with it”.

Gowon had “described the MP’s claim as “rubbish”.

He had told the BBC: “What the MP said was just mere ridicule and I don’t know as to where he cooked up such statement. I served Nigeria as much as I could and my achievements during those years are available to everyone.”

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JUST IN: Amotekun Rescue Wife Of Akeredolu’s Chief Of Staff

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Barely two days after her abduction, the wife of the Chief of Staff to the Ondo State governor, Olugbenga Ale, has regained her freedom.

We had earlier reported that Mrs Sade Ale, alongside one other person, were kidnapped on Thursday evening along the Ondo-Akure Expressway while travelling from Lagos to Akure.

It was, however, gathered that the victims were rescued on Saturday morning by men of the Ondo State Security Network also known as Amotekun Corps in collaboration with local hunters and vigilantes in the area.

The Commander of the Amotekun Corps, Adetunji Adeleye, who confirmed the release of Mrs Ale to newsmen, said it was too early to disclose details of the rescue operation.

He said, “We thank God for the achievement, it was not easy. But we are able to arrest some persons in connection with the matter.”

Adeleye also said some suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi, who was killed by some gunmen on Thursday.

“We are closing in on the hoodlums. We also arrested some persons at Elegbeka in connection with the killing of the monarch. But they are under interrogation and they are helping us with useful information,” Adeleye said.

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City People Magazine Honours Akogun Lanre Alfred

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A goldfish never has a hiding place and when one is exceedingly good at what he does, he will always be fished out for honours that will spur to him to greater heights and exploits.

Perhaps, it’s recognition time for cerebral and prolific top-notch society and lifestyle writer and author of five books, Akogun Lanre Alfred, as adorns the garb of ‘Lifestyle King’- (Highlife and Society Reportage) at the 2nd City People Magazine Online Fashion and Beauty Award courtesy top of the range soft-sell tabloid, City People Magazine.

The prestigious honorary award comes up this Sunday 29, November 2020, and it will be attended by the cream of the society as sensational singer SBLive will be on the bandstand, while Lanre’s friends in the business world will be in attendance.

The ‘African Prince’, as he is fondly called by his friends, is the head honcho of Seafrills Energy International, The OldEnglish Bakery with branches in Lagos.

Akogun Lanre Alfred, who is also Executive Consultant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Reputation Management, has been on the scene for over two-decades and very meticulous in his unique and uncommon style of society and lifestyle journalism, with a couple of aptly concise books on highlife styles of top society players.

Interestingly, there is no gainsaying Alfred possesses admirable poise and panache; a man of venerable taste in fashion, he effortlessly depicts style as an outward and inward sign of grace and character. He has got the money habit, and an enduring flair for the modish and timeless, in repute and colossal proportions.

Unlike several dudes of his ilk, he is neither tormented nor overwhelmed by his love for the classy and urbane. Such habit and love are practicable at a steep price and he rises to the measure and monetary worth of his taste for high fashion and art.

Many rich, privileged men stumble into vogue but it takes a discerning man of class and élan to mirror the girth and depth of burgeoning trends to the world.

Lanre Alfred without doubt epitomizes such an exclusive breed of manhood; among other traits, he flaunts immaculate flair and charisma to often lead and set the pace in whatever social circuit he inhabits. He effortlessly characterizes the essence and refinement, exemplary of intensely constituted men of style.

Little wonder he cuts a perfect portrait of a man fully at home and at peace with his inner grandeur.

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