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Sixteen #EndSARS Promoters Seek Redress In Court Over Blocked Bank Accounts

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No fewer than 16 #EndSARS campaigners have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to reverse a temporary restraining order placed on their accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It was earlier reported how the bank had, even before obtaining a court order, frozen the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters for funding the campaign against police brutality. The bank later secured an ex parte order to support its action.

The move, which came as one of the government’s many crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators, has been widely condemned.

In a court affidavit, the CBN had claimed that its decision to shut down the accounts was on suspicion that the demonstrators might have been funded through terrorism.

But on Thursday, 16 of the aggrieved campaigners filed a motion for the restraining order to be lifted. The motion was through their lawyer, Femi Falana.

The 16 applicants are ‘Rinu’ Oduala, a member of the panel set up by the Lagos State Government to look into police brutality; Chima Ibebunjoh, Mary Kpengwa, Saadat Bibi, Bassey Israel, Wisdom Obi, Nicholas Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Yusuf, Uhuo Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye, Adegoke Pamilerin, Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mary Oshifowora and Idunnu Williams.

Their application is based on 13 grounds.

In their appeal, they contended that the CBN acted beyond its authority by freezing their bank accounts before approaching the court for a restraining order, an act they called ‘illegal’.

They also contended that their right to a fair hearing under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation, 2004, was violated when the court order allowed the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to freeze their accounts for 90 days.

The campaigners argued that the court’s 90-day freezing order also violated Order 26 Rules 5, 10, and 11(1) and (2) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, which prescribes a maximum of 14 days for the validity of an ex parte order.

Appalled by the ‘terrorist’ labelling by the CBN governor, the #EndSARS promoters faulted the CBN for exercising power beyond its purview as it was never among the investigative or prosecuting agencies recognized under the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 and the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2013.

An affidavit deposited by Marshal Abubakar of the Falana chambers said the claimants’ accounts were frozen in October by CBN without any justification or proof to the terrorism claim by the CBN.

Mr Abubakar said all the demonstrators whose accounts were frozen were never arrested for any crime before.

He added that their only sin was being protesters despite the President, Muhammadu Buhari, emphasizing the right of citizens to protest in his nationwide speech calling for calm.

“They are Nigerian citizens, human rights activists, social crusaders and some of the leaders of the #EndSARS movement, campaigning for an end to the brutality and a series of human rights violations perpetrated by the special police unit known as Special Anti-Robbery Squad,” he said.

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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