Some of the persons who served as front-liners during last year’s massive #EndSARS protests have taken to their social media accounts to celebrate the unfreezing of their bank accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Last October, the Nigerian government began a clampdown on promoters of #EndSARS protests by freezing their bank accounts.
Some #EndSARS promoters said their banks informed them that the CBN had directed that their accounts should be frozen.
The CBN reportedly instructed banks to place a ‘Post No Debit’ restriction on the accounts.
The banks, it was learnt, were able to implement the directive by tracking the ‘narration’ of transactions.
Bank transactions that included the narration #EndSARS or End SARS were immediately flagged while such accounts receiving funds were frozen.
But a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the CBN to unfreeze the accounts of 20 people who were involved in the #EndSARS protests.
Their lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said he had informed the court that the 90-day order expired on the 4th of February and that there was no renewal of the order.
Some of the affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye and Adegoke Pamilerin Emmanuel.
Others are Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, and Idunu A. Williams.
One of the #EndSARS front-liners who had before now complained about facing some challenges after the CBN froze his account and that of others, has celebrated the unfreezing of his account.
According to @victorisrael_, now that his account has been unfrozen, he has been able to do certain things like pay his family’s rent, which had been due for six months.
He said he was also able to buy drugs for his father.
He tweeted: “After 4 months of freezing my accounts because of #EndSARS, my accounts have been unfrozen. I paid our rent that’s been due for 6 months and bought my dad his drugs. The tears in their voice as they prayed for me got me angry. Federal govt, CBN and Godwin Emefiele (CBN governor); God punish you.”
He further described his parents’ landlord as a nice man who gave money to support his dad’s health, bought drugs for his dad, supported his family with items for Christmas, and never asked for his rent for one day.
“He’s a great man. He’s a Yoruba man. Such a nice man. My parents’ landlord is so nice that he gave money to support my dad’s health. He bought drugs so many times for my dad. Never asked for his rent for even a day. Supported with items during Christmas. Yorubas are one of the nicest people on earth. Wish I could pay that man!”
Another #EndSARS frontliner and Twitter influencer, Adegoke Pamilerin Emmanuel, whose handle is @UnclePamilerin, said it was not easy for him during the period his accounts were frozen but now grateful they scaled through.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, he said, “Yes it has been unfreeze (sic). It was a crazy one, they want us to beg but God pass them.”
On his Twitter handle, he posted, “Pamilerin Spending checked GTB and I’m smiling. I don move my money.”
In another tweet, he said, “Promised myself that once they release this account, the money is for lavishing. I’ll do just that.”
For @Mosopemi, who had complained that apart from having her bank accounts frozen, she was not issued her passport, she said she has been able to pick up her passport, and restrictions on her accounts have been removed.
She tweeted, “Passport picked up! Accounts unfrozen! To those who stood by us, we cannot thank you enough! Thank you for standing up for myself & the 19 people who had their bank accounts frozen since October! You have no idea what it means to us, thank you!!!!!!”
Another user, @vhic_tore wrote, “CBN finally freed my account after 3 months!!! This wouldn’t have happened without Femi Falana.”
The #EndSARS protests rocked the nation some months ago with youths demanding the proscription of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the Nigerian Police Force.
The protesters also demanded justice for the victims of police brutality.
However, the protests turned sour in the third week of October 2020 as they were hijacked by hoodlums in some states, leading to loss of lives and destruction of property.