The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has secured an interim order of a federal high court in Abuja, freezing 194 bank accounts belonging to individuals and Bureau de Change (BDCs) under investigation.
The apex bank announced this in three separate documents on its website on Thursday.
The CBN said it got an order to freeze 60 bank accounts of Bluebeam Capital Limited, another order to freeze 84 accounts in 17 banks and order to freeze 50 accounts domiciled in different banks.
Those affected by the new order include Nuhu Abubakar, Lat-Ade Logistics, Adenmosun Lateef Jimoh, Lateef Adenmosun, Saki Polo Global Investment Limited, Sam Polo Concept Enterprises, Saki Abdullahi, Saneo Global Resources Limited, Saneo Global Resources LTD, Romvic Ventures NIG LTD, Romvic Ventures Nigeria Limited, Enychristo Enterprises, Ezeh Onyebuchi and Ezeh Onyebuchi Chris.
Others are Christopher .O. Ezeh, Christopher Onyebuchi Ezeh, Ezeh Christopher Onyebuchi, Mandes Mega Koncepts Limited, Okpalaugo Paul Ifeanyi, Okpalagu Ifeanyi Paul, Ifeanyi Paul Okpalaugo, Paul Ifeanyi Okpalaugo, Chinweuba Okoye Sunday, Sunday Chinweuba Okoye, Okoye Chinweuba Sunday.
The affected bank accounts are domiciled in First Bank Plc, Keystone Bank PLC, Polaris Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Plc, Access Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa, Eco Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc.
CBN had asked the court for an order directing the enlisted banks to freeze the accounts “for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
Ahmed Mohammed, presiding judge, on March 30, granted the application of the apex bank.
However, the freezing order would only last 45 days as against the 180 days requested.
Mohammed said: “The order is renewable on expiration but only on good reasons shown.”
“The applicant (CBN) shall publish this order on its website within three days from today,” he added.
“Any person or persons affected by this order are entitled to approach the court to seek to set aside, discharge or have the order reviewed for good reasons shown.”
In two other separate applications, the court also made an order freezing the account of four other companies for 45 days.
Bluebeam Capital Limited, Sethwealth Ventures, Sethweath Ventures Ltd and Seasons Bureau de Change Ltd are the affected companies.
The CBN has been clamping down on businesses and individuals with suspicious bank transactions especially for money laundering and illegal forex transactions in recent times.
The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) said 26 members were recently arrested by security operatives, over alleged unlawful foreign exchange transactions.