Akeredolu to #EndSARS promoters: “Justify why the money was there”
The Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said there shouldn’t be unnecessary debate over the frozen accounts of #EndSARS promoters by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The apex bank obtained a court order to freeze the account of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after linking the funds in their account to suspected terrorism financing.
However, Akeredolu, who spoke Wednesday on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily Programme, stated that this is not the first time bank accounts were frozen by the CBN.
He said those whose bank accounts were frozen should approach a competent court to justify the “legitimate” source and use of funds in the frozen accounts.
Akeredolu, who is also the Ondo State Governor, noted that the matter was discussed last Sunday at the meeting of governors, traditional rulers, and other stakeholders in the region held in Lagos in the aftermath of the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests.
The governor said the leaders agreed at the meeting to take certain steps on the frozen accounts but decided not to announce their decisions to the media.
He said, “The issue of the accounts that were frozen was discussed but nobody said in the communique that we appreciated the government for freezing the accounts.
“We know that there are ways to get a few things done without putting it in the public glare and start contestation on the pages of newspapers. So, we know what we decided and we know what we want to do about that.
“The issue, when it was raised, generated debate. But it was so clear that some people were getting to fund this for reasons other than #EndSARS. So, if we know money moved from some accounts that were suspicious, do you say the government should keep quiet? It is something we are looking into.”
Akeredolu also reacted to the youth representatives who pulled out of the Lagos State Panel of Judiciary Inquiry probing cases of police brutality and the Lekki shootings.
The governor urged them to resume sitting while they challenge the CBN action in court.
He said, “If I were counsel to those people, I will not advise them not to appear at that panel.
“Accounts are frozen, is that the first time it is done? If your account was frozen, you justify why the money was there. You explain what use you have used the money. If it is, okay, we paid this caterer to give food to these boys when they were there. We spent money before the hoodlums took over, it will be explained, people will know and the accounts will be de-frozen.
“If for instance, my account was frozen, all I will do is to go to court and explain. Politicians’ accounts have been frozen and all they do is to go to court to explain and the court will say, leave the accounts and the accounts will be de-frozen and they get their money.”