Last year, the government, in all their wisdom responded through the use of brute force in unleashing the military on peaceful protesters at Lekki Tollgate. In effect, this sense of state-sanctioned violence had a chilling effect on the protests, and the government sought to clamp down on protesters in the misguided belief that by potentially making scapegoats of them, they could deter future protests and movements.
One of the forces unleashed was freezing the bank accounts of Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, and a few others. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its head of economic intelligence, Joseph Omayuku, told the court that following investigations, there were allegations of the defendants being involved in suspected terrorism financing via their bank accounts in contravention of the provisions of extant laws and regulations. An ex parte order of the Federal High Court in Abuja obtained to freeze the protesters’ accounts for 90 days was due on February 2, 2021.
Of recent, the Judge, Federal High Court of Nigeria, Ahmed Mohammed issued an order to unfreeze accounts after the legal teams of both the CBN and the 20 defendants decided to end the case.