One of the affected #EndSARS campaigners whose bank accounts were frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Victor Babatunde, says the country will experience more decadence than it currently experiences if its people do not protest against the ills of the government.
Babatunde told SaharaReporters on Friday while reacting to the unfreezing of his account as ruled by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Nigerian government through its apex bank had frozen the bank accounts of 20 #EndSARS protesters for allegedly financing the protests that took place last year against police brutality and bad governance in the country.
While the CBN and the Nigerian government have been criticised for the action, the defendants got a court order on Wednesday that the accounts should be unfrozen.
The judge, Ahmed Mohammed, in his ruling on Wednesday, said, “In the light of this, the ex parte order issued on November 4, 2020, freezing the accounts of the defendants pending the investigation by the Central Bank of Nigeria is hereby set aside. An order is also made unfreezing the accounts of the defendants.”
Reacting to the judgment, Babatunde said, “Well. Yes, of course, they’ve unfrozen my account alongside many others. But, that does not imply that the judicial system, the CBN and the federal government have to be trusted. The fact remains that the freezing was illegal as they’ve frozen those accounts before the date stated on that court order that permitted them to freeze our accounts.
“Secondly, they did not want to grant us a hearing. We have been on the case since November and they just unfreezed the account days after 90 days expired.
“The federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria are not really dependable in dealing with Nigerians and obviously they are biased in their judgments.”
Speaking on the protest disrupted by security agencies at the Lekki Tollgate on Saturday, Babatunde noted that” people have the right to protest”.
“All over the world, people protest. People can’t just sit back and watch things go wrong,” he said.
“Any society that sits back and watches things go bad without challenging the government or those in authority would have to sit back and enjoy more decadence in that society.
“So, people have died in the process. And nobody has been held accountable for the killings that happened there last year. And the government is playing hanky-panky and that’s why people are annoyed.”
Other accounts that were frozen apart from Babatunde’s belonged to Bolatito Rachael Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, and Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele.
Others are Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye, Adegoke Pamilerin Emmanuel, Umoh Grace Ekanem, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, and Victor Solomon.