The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has obtained court orders from the Federal High Court, Abuja, to freeze 194 bank accounts owned by Bureaux de Change firms and other organizations to enable it conduct investigations into suspicious foreign exchange dealings.
The document, which was signed by the Presiding Judge, A.R. Mohammed, empowered the CBN to direct almost all the banks operating in the country to freeze all the bank accounts for a period of 45 days only, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The court papers said: “The order may be extended upon good reasons shown. Any person aggrieved by this order could apply to the court to have the order set aside, discharged or have the order reviewed for good reasons without waiting for the 45 days to lapse.”
Some of the firms affected are Seasons Bureau De Change Limited, Sethwealth Ventures Limited, Sani Polo Global Investment Limited, Romvic Ventures Limited and Blue Beam Capital Limited among others.
The CBN had, Wednesday last week, got an order to freeze 11 bank accounts to enable it to conduct investigations into suspicious activities.
The order follows an exparte motion, dated March 12 and filed on March 16, seeking the mandatory order of the court to direct First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited to freeze all transactions on the listed accounts and all other bank accounts of the defendants for 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the CBN.