Nigeria’s Central Bank, has reportedly filed a suit before an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to give some legal backing to its decision to block the accounts of some youths who spearheaded the recent #ENDSARS protests targeted at putting an end to the menace of police brutality especially from men of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
In the court papers obtained by the media, the Bank told the court that the accounts of the individuals were linked to financially supporting terrorism.
“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,” Punch cited excerpts of the bank charges.
Peoples Gazette however reported that the CBN did not present any evidence to the court other than the claim that the accounts made transfers that carried #EndSARS in line descriptions.
The #ENDSARS campaign took place in several major cities across Nigeria in October. The protests were largely peaceful until thugs allegedly sponsored by government began to attack the protesters in Abuja and Lagos.
Things got to a head on October 20 after the protesters were shot at Lekki tollgate by military operatives.
Amnesty International estimates that at least 12 people were killed in the Lekki shooting.