- Key EndSars leaders won’t get access to their bank accounts until January 2020
- 19 individuals, one company are affected by the order
- CBN’s received a court order from to freeze the protesters’ account
- Justice Ahmed Mohammed of Abuja Federal High Court gave the order
There were rumours that front runners of the EndSARS protest would be hunted when the protest was on, it’s now a reality as their bank accounts have been frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The list which was sent to commercial banks revealed that 19 key EndSars leaders and one company will unable to access their bank account for 180 days when the CBN must have completed its investigation.
Before the then, the apex bank had approached an Abuja Federal High Court to enable it freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests till January.
Who are the affected EndSars protesters whose bank accounts are frozen?
They include individuals the Federal Government sees as key leaders, those who led and coordinated the protests across major cities in Nigeria.
- Mary Doose Kpengwa,
- Mulu Louis Teghenan,
- Saadat Temitope Bibi,
- Bolatito Racheal Oduala,
- Mary Oshifowora,
- Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob,
- Chima David Ibebunjoh,
- Bassey Victor Israel,
- Ebere Idibie,
- Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.
- Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif
- Umoh Grace Ekanem,
- Babatunde Victor Segun,
- Victor Solomon,
- Idunu A. Williams,
- Akintomide Lanre Yusuf,
- Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise
- Wisdom Busaosowo Obi,
- Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele,
- Gatefield Nigeria Limited
Why were the accounts frozen by the FG?
Recall that the EndSars protest was the most organised and coordinated major protest in Nigeria since 1999.
The protest pushed for police reform, called for end to police brutality and extra judicial killing by the men of the now disbanded killer police unit called SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad).
SARS was created by the Nigeria Police Force to swiftly respond to cases of robbery across the country, unfortunately the unit turned against the people it’s meant to protest.
Men of the SARS unit killed at will, they extort innocent Nigerians, sometimes kill if you’re not ready to bribe them.
That what culminated into the #EndSars protests. But the protest later included call to poor governance in Nigeria, end to impunity of the political class, and call to inhumane monthly salary earned by members of the National Assembly while more their constituents wallow in abject poverty.
EndSARS Protest Control Room
The protest was well coordinated that they had created key units to help manage manage and monitor the protest effectively.
Some of the units of the EndSars campaign include:
- Control room
- Online radio (Soro Soke)
- Legal Unit
- Medical unit
- Social media unit
While the legal unit provided pro bono to protesters who were arrested and detained by the police, the medical unit were on ground to swiftly offer first aid to those who were wounded or shot by the police.
The social media unit had influencers who pushed for the campaign and made any word they want to trend go viral on Twitter and Facebook.
The control room monitored all the activities of protesters who were on the streets.
Why APC-led government was worried
From how the protest was organised and well-coordinated, the ruling All Progressive Congress at the federal said it was a protest sponsored by the opposition party (PDP) to topple the government.
During the protest, hoodlums hijacked the protest. They descended on government and private properties.
Warehouses, where COVID-19 palliatives hoarded, were looted by hoodlums and residents. It started in Lagos before spreading to other states like Osun, Cross River, Kogi, Plateau among others.
The FG had to draft soldiers across flashpoint to quell the break down of law and order.
And government came up with the idea that the protest was sponsored considering how they received donations across the World.
FG directed CBN to take action
It was gathered that the Buhari-led government directed the apex bank to pounce on account numbers of the major endsars players.
And the court order was addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Zenith Bank to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 accounts on the list annexed to the CBN’s application as Exhibit A and all other bank accounts of the defendants/respondents.
The order has continued to receive backlash from human rights activists and those who supported the protest.