Nigeria to open protesters’ financial institution accounts

A Nigerian court on Wednesday ordered the central bank to release 20 bank accounts in connection with demonstrations that rocked the country last year.

Protesters, backed by high-profile celebrities around the world, had their bank accounts blocked in November after weeks of rioting rioted after weeks of police abuse.

On Wednesday, Judge Ahmed Mohammed ordered the accounts to be released after the legal teams on both sides decided to end the case.

“The order issued on November 4, 2022 to freeze the accounts of the accused pending investigation by the Central Bank of Nigeria is hereby repealed,” said Mohammed.

The bank’s lawyer, Michael Aondoakaa, told the court that he was withdrawing the lawsuit in a spirit of “reconciliation”.

“This issue affects young people,” said Aondoakaa. “I’ve spoken to my colleagues and advised to discard all processes. I will withdraw my processes and they will withdraw theirs.”

The defendants’ attorney Femi Falana said the November 4th order expired last week.

According to Amnesty International, at least 56 people died during the # EndSARS protests in October, named after the SARS Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which is at the center of the abuse claims.

Nigerian local authorities have since opened an investigation into police abuse, but critics say that was not enough.

In Lagos, Africa’s largest city, security forces shot at a peaceful crowd of demonstrators who had gathered at the Lekki toll booth on October 20.

After the shooting, the army said only blank rounds were fired to disperse the crowd that had opposed a curfew.

But Amnesty International said soldiers killed at least 10 protesters.

Activists called for a new rally on Saturday after the Lagos judicial authority approved the reopening of the Lekki toll booth.

The hashtag “OccupyLekkiTollGate” became widespread on social media.

Some feared that the protest could serve as an excuse for looting real estate and called for a counter-protest on Saturday using the “DefendLagos” hashtag, which is also popular on social platforms.

str-lhd / pma / ri

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