Nigeria: Court freezes bank accounts of forex trading platforms

The bank accounts of various investing and trading platforms that Nigerians have been utilizing to transact online have been frozen by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

On Tuesday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed issued the order in an ex parte case submitted by the Central Bank of Nigeria through its lawyer, Micheal Aondoakaa (SAN).

Persons who were harmed by the order could seek reparation from the court, according to Justice Mohammed.

The defendants’ financial activities were being investigated by the CBN for operating without obtaining a license as asset management companies and using FX sourced from the Nigerian FX market to purchase foreign bonds/shares in violation of the CBN circular TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012, dated July 1, 2015.

Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited OPNS, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses, and Trove Technologies Limited are among the defendants affected by the ruling.

The CBN prayed before the court for ‘An interim order of this honorable court empowering the plaintiff/ applicant to direct the head offices of Zenith Bank Plc (Churchgate Street, Victoria Island, Lagos), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (Plot 635, Akin Adesola, Victoria Island, Standard Chartered Bank (142, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.), Access Bank of Nigeria (999c, Danmole Street, off ldejo Street, Off Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos), VFD Microfinance Bank (Elephant House. 5, Floor, 214 Broad Street, Marina Island, Lagos), to freeze forthwith all the bank accounts of the defendants/respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry conducted by the CBN.”

Christiana Gyang, a senior supervisor at the apex bank, testified that the bank had investigated the defendants’ actions to discover their alleged involvement in illegal foreign exchange.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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