Frozen Accounts: Lagos AG urges #EndSARS campaigners to challenge CBN action in court

Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo

The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), has urged #EndSARS campaigners whose bank accounts were frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria to approach a competent court of law to upturn the apex bank’s account.

Onigbanjo said the Lagos State government had no hand in the recent CBN action, adding that only the Federal Government could provide answers as to why it took the action against the youths.

The AG, who spoke on Monday, Nov 9, 2020, while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, appealed to the two youth representatives in the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate to return to the panel so as to enable victims of police brutality and the Lekki shootings get justice.

The PUNCH had reported that the sitting of the panel was frustrated on Saturday due to the absence of the two youth members of the panel, Oluwarinu Oduala, and Temitope Majekodunmi.

Oduala, who is one of the arrowheads of the #EndSARS protest, boycotted the Saturday sitting in protest against the freezing of her bank account by the CBN which obtained a court order to freeze her account and those of 19 others till January 2021.

The chairman of the judicial panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, had said the panel had no other option but to suspend the sitting as it could not form a quorum in the absence of the two youths.

Speaking on Monday night, Onigbanjo said, “The representatives of the youths on the panel who were affected by the CBN decision to freeze these accounts should bear two things in mind;

“One is that by the panel not forming quorum, then it means that all the victims of SARS abuses in Lagos, which they have been clamouring for will not get the compensation, which they seek and which the state government thinks they deserve.

“All those affected cannot get their compensation for no fault of theirs because the panel members have some legal issues with the CBN.

“This problem is not the state’s making; the state has no control over the CBN. The state is interested in ensuring that people who suffered abuses in Lagos State ventilate and get the compensation which the panel awards to them.

“Also, very crucial and critical, there have been so many allegations about what happened at the Lekki toll gate on the 20th of October this year. Again, that very crucial investigation will not be able to go on because of this quorum issue.

“I would be urging the affected panel member and the other youth representative to resume their seats at the panel.

“The CBN got a court order against their accounts and I believe that decision can be challenged on its own. They can go to court and challenge the decision of the CBN and at the same time, let the panel continue the work which impact on the lives of so many people in Lagos State and which also touches on what happened at the Lekki toll gate.”

Meanwhile, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, said Sunday that the #EndSARS campaigners must face the law for allowing the nationwide protests degenerate into the morbid destruction of lives and properties.
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