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Utomi, others chide CBN over order on #EndSARS protesters’ account

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Pat Utomi


Members of the New Fabian Society of The Concerned Professionals have condemned the continued restriction order placed on #EndSARS protesters’ account by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

A statement signed by Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Anthony Kila, Olutola Mobolurin, Innocent Chukwuma, Femi Falana, D. Muiz Banire, Pastor Itua Ighodalo, said: “The Central Bank does disservice to its core function in allowing itself to be seen as victimisation tools in the hands of the Executive. Whether this act of witch-hunting the perceived enemies of government from CBN is native to the institution or prompted from outside is not clear but suffice to say that it is troubling.

“It is inappropriate that after the pledges of the President, including those in his New Year address, continuing to harass the young men and women who organised the October 2020 uprising is in poor taste.

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“Using the court of law as an instrument to obtain ex-parte orders to freeze people’s accounts is an insignia of dictatorship that manipulates judicial institutions to give a façade of lawfulness to tyranny.

“The judges involved too have not been giving a good account of their oath as these cases are given unreasonable lengthy adjournments while the Central Bank claims that the allegations against the people are still being investigated.”

They further said that the law was clear about presumption of innocence until proven guilty and no matter what, the protesters are still Nigerian citizens and are entitled to presumption of innocence until the prosecution proves otherwise, stressing that ex- parte orders by law are not supposed to last for more than 14 days but recent draconian legislations have been enabling tyrants to obtain ex-parte orders for 180 days and more under the guise of continuous investigations.

“In the light of this, we call on all professional bodies and other Nigerians to rise up and condemn this tyrannical practice and uphold ethical standards. We also urge professional groups like the NBA, ICAN and so on to call their members in government who behave inappropriately to order and hold them accountable. All conscious individuals and organisations must call the government to order, otherwise, we all are potential victims waiting their turns,” the statement further stated.

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