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CBN gets court approval to freeze 11 bank accounts under investigation

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has received an order from the Federal high court in Abuja to freeze 11 bank accounts domiciled in FCMB for 45 days pending the outcome of an investigation being conducted by the financial institutions regulator.

As published on its website, the CBN had on March 16,2021, filed an order titled ‘upon the Motion Exparte’, dated March 12, 2021, prayed the court for an order directing First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to freeze forthwith all transactions in the 11 bank accounts “for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

After hearing the application moved by A.T Kohol, CBN counsel, Ahmed Mohammed, presiding judge, gave an interim order empowering the applicant (CBN) to direct the head office of First City Monument Bank Limited to freeze forthwith all transactions on the bank accounts listed on the motion paper for a period of 45 days only pending the outcome of investigation currently being conducted by the CBN.

The owners of the bank accounts domiciled in FCMB as published by the CBN include Austin Ugochukwu, a businessman, who owns two accounts, Belfour Energy & Allied Services, owns one account, Belfour Oil and Gas LTD, three accounts, Circle Flow Integrated Services, one account, Kacynaus Realty Nig LTD, three accounts and one account belonging to Tasmara Integrated Services.

The order issued at Abuja under the seal of the court and the hand of the presiding judge dated March 30, 2021, stated that 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 Wednesday.

And that 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.

Consequently, the court has fixed May 17, 2021 for mention of the substantive suit.

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