CBN Freezes Companies, Individuals Accounts for Infractions

CBN Freezes Companies, Individuals Accounts for Infractions

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has secured three separate interim orders from a Federal High Court in Abuja to freeze bank accounts linked to 194 business entities and individuals in 17 banks for various infractions.

This was contained in a documents posted by the apex bank on its website pursuant to the court order. However, the CBN is yet to reveal the reason for its decision.

The freeze orders were sequel to three exparte applications filed by the apex bank seeking a mandatory order of the court to ask the 17 banks to freeze the account of the business organizations and individual pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation the apex bank had initiated.

In one of the suits against Nuru Abubakar and 24 others, the court granted the request by CBN to freeze the account of the defendants in the banks for 45 days.

Justice A.R Muhammed who made the order in his ruling on March 30, 2021, said: “An interim order is hereby made empowering the applicant to direct the head office of the listed banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the bank account of the defendants for a period of 45 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by CBN.”

In another suit filed by CBN against Sethwealth Ventures and two others, the court granted an exparte application by the apex bank to freeze 50 accounts linked to the three defendants in 13 banks.

A similar order was also made in the suit by CBN against Bluebeam Capital Ltd freezing 60 accounts of the company in 13 banks.

The 17 banks affected are Access Bank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Providus Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Wema Bank and First Bank.

Others are Guaranty Trust Bank, Ecobank Bank, Heritage Bank, Polaris Bank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Union Bank.

The companies affected include Bluebeam Capital Limited, Sethwealth Ventures, Seasons Bureau De Change, Lat-Ade Logistics, Sani Polo Global Investment Ltd, Saneo Global Resources Limited and Romvic Ventures Nigeria Limited among others.

The presiding judge, on March 30, granted the application of the apex bank, noting that the freezing order would only last 45 days as against the 180 days requested.

Mohammed said: “The order is renewable on expiration but only on good reasons shown. The applicant (CBN) shall publish this order on its website within three days from today”.

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“Any person or persons affected by this order are entitled to approach the court to seek to set aside, discharge or have the order reviewed for good reasons shown.”

In two other separate applications, the court also made an order freezing the account of four other companies for 45 days.

Bluebeam Capital Limited, Sethwealth Ventures, Sethwealth Ventures Ltd and Seasons Bureau de Change Ltd are the affected companies.

The CBN has been clamping down on businesses and individuals with suspicious bank transactions especially for money laundering and illegal forex transactions in recent times.

CBN Freezes Companies, Individuals Accounts for Infractions