Court remands #EndSARS protesters, freezes promoters’ accounts till 2021

Eniola Akinkuotu, Leke Baiyewu, Adelani Adepegba, Ade Adesomoju and Alexander Okere

Five #EndSARS protesters were, on Friday, arraigned before the Chief Magistrates’ Court, Wuse, Abuja, by the police for unlawful assembly, criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance and public nuisance.

The youths were apprehended at the National Assembly gate where they staged a peaceful protest for the reform of the police.

They also scrawled ‘ENDSARS’ in bright red on the road during their rally.

The group had also staged a protest at the police headquarters and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, last Sunday, where they were dispersed by aviation security operatives.

A senior officer at the Federal Capital Territory Police Command confirmed that five protesters arrested during the demonstration were immediately arraigned and remanded.

The FCT police spokesperson, ASP Mariam Yusuf, was not available for comment.

Earlier, men of the Nigeria Police Force, had on Friday, attacked #EndSARS protesters led by the publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, at the National Assembly gate.

Sowore took to his Facebook page to express disapproval of the “illegal arrest” of the protesters.

He stated, “After our #EndSARS Graffiti action at the National Assembly today, we headed to the Magistrates’ Court in the Wuse area of Abuja where some of our colleagues were arraigned after unlawful arrests were carried out by the Nigeria Police.

“The court activities were scripted; it was unbelievable! The magistrate denied our comrades bail using the case of Asari Dokubo as a justification. We were all shocked but not surprised. They were eventually led away to prison! Just another sad day and the reason we must keep fighting to liberate ourselves. #RevolutionNow.”

Meanwhile, a group called the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre has condemned the alleged use of live ammunition on protesting youths and the arrest of five demonstrators in Abuja.

The group, in a statement by its Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, titled ‘RULAAC condemns the use of live bullets on peaceful protesters in Abuja,’ said the actions of the security agents showed that no lessons had been learnt.

Bank accounts of #EndSARS promoters to remain frozen till January

The Central Bank of Nigeria has obtained a court order freezing the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters till January 2021.

The order was pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the CBN before a Federal High Court.

The certified true copy of the order obtained by an online medium, Peoples Gazette, showed that the CBN had applied for the restriction of the 20 accounts on October 20, which was several days after it had already ordered commercial banks to freeze the accounts.

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020 listed the defendants as Bolatito Oduala, Chima Ibebunjoh, Mary Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Bibi, Bassey Israel, Wisdom Obi, Nicholas Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Yusuf, Uhuo Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye and Adegoke Emmanuel.

Others are Umoh Ekanem, Babatunde Segun, Mulu Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Jacob, Victor Solomon and Idunu Williams.

The banks where the accounts are domiciled include Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank.

The lawyers representing the CBN were led by a former Attorney General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN).

Justice A.R. Mohammed ordered that the accounts should be frozen for the next 90 days subject to renewal.

It was, however, observed that the judge did not order that the defendants be served with any court process, thereby leaving them unaware of the restriction on their accounts.

The PUNCH had reported on Wednesday that the Federal Government had clamped down on notable persons who took part in the #EndSARS protests.

The Nigeria Immigration Service had, on Sunday, prevented one of such persons, Modupe Odele aka Mochievous, from leaving the country and seized her passport.

The Rivers State medical coordinator of the #EndSARS protest, Bassey Israel, had also told this newspaper that his account was frozen and threatened to sue the bank

 

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