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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, set aside its order freezing the accounts of the 20 #EndSARS campaigners which was frozen on November 4, 2020, at the instance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The EndSARS campaigners who were defendants in the suit filed by the CBN had, in an application, prayed the court for the reversal of the freezing order.
When the matter came up on Wednesday, counsel to the CBN, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), informed the court that he had discussed with the counsel to the defendants to discard all the processes filed in the matter since the freezing order had expired on February 4, 2021.
According to him, the Federal Government has set up Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate police brutality, which caused the #EndSARS protest last year, adding that “this matter involves young people and we do not want to prolong it. I have discussed with my colleagues to discard all the processes filed and if that is done, I will withdraw my motion seeking an extension to allow the matter to rest.”
Counsel to the defendants (#EndSARS campaigners), Femi Falana (SAN), corroborated the submissions of the counsel to the CBN and added that since the exparte order of the court has expired, the motion to have the order quashed had been overtaken by events.
“We, therefore, prayed the court to allow us to withdraw the same motion and that will also affect all the motions filed in this matter,” Falana told the court.
Aondoakaa, on his part, said he had the instruction from his client, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, not to ask for an extension of the order in the spirit of reconciliation and added that” we are not asking for an extension of the order to allow everybody to go home peacefully.”
Justice Mohammed, in his ruling, commended the two senior lawyers for their commitment to ensuring that justice was done in the matter.
“All processes filed in this matter are hereby deemed to have been withdrawn. The order of the court made on 4th November 2020, freezing the accounts of the defendants is hereby set aside.
“It is hereby ordered that all the accounts of the defendants should be unfrozen and this suit is hereby struck out,” Justice Mohammed held.
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