Access Bank PLC

CBN Freezes Bank Accounts Of #EndSARS Promoters

First Bank Nigeria

The federal government has been accused of freezing the bank accounts of individuals who promoted the #EndSARS protests.

For 13 days, Nigerians across the country poured into the streets to protest against police brutality.

The protests resulted in the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit of the police.

But two weeks after the protests, there are allegations of clampdown by the government on those who promoted the campaign.

Some #EndSARS promoters, in a report by The Punch, said their banks informed them that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed that their accounts be frozen.

The apex bank reportedly instructed banks to place a “Post No Debit” restriction on the accounts.

Bassey Israel, a pharmacist, who was in charge of the #EndSARS medical team in Port Harcourt, reportedly said his account with Access Bank marked 003397XXXX has been frozen since October 15.

“I am in charge of End SARS medical team in Port Harcourt and we had people donating for medical supplies, food, water, ambulance services and these donations were made directly into my account and of course these donations had End SARS descriptions so I think that was how they were able to flag my account,” he was quoted to have said.

“I noticed that on October 15, I was trying to make a debit transaction on my account and noticed that there was a restriction.

“So, I called the bank and I was told that there was indeed a restriction but I should go to any branch near me and when I did so, the branch manager sent a mail to the branch where I opened the account. The response to the mail was that there was a directive from the CBN to restrict the account.

“The lady was surprised and even asked me if I had any issue with the CBN and I responded that if I had any issue with the CBN, I wouldn’t be in the bank in the first place, I would be on the run. I asked what could be done and she gave me no answer. She had to  show me the mail on her computer which I read. It was directly from the CBN and it read, ‘Place this account on PND.”

The newspaper reported that other #EndSARS promoters were facing the same challenge.

On Sunday, Modupe Odele, an #EndSARS advocate, narrated how she was stopped from travelling out of the country by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).

The lawyer said she was detained and her passport seized.

The federal government was also alleged to have placed the names of #EndSARS protesters on a no-fly list — but the government has denied the allegation.

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