Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has empowered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to direct First City Monument Bank Limited to freeze forthwith, all transactions on the bank accounts of 11 companies and individuals for 45 days, pending the outcome of ongoing investigation.
The CBN Governor, who is plaintiff/Applicant in the case with Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/326/2021, had sued Albert Austin Ugochukwu, Belfour Energy & Allied Services, Belfour Oil & Gas Ltd, Circle Flow Integrated Services, Kacynaus Realty Nig Ltd, and Tasmara Integrated Services, asking leave of the court to free transactions on the accounts for a period of 180 days.
This, it noted in its motion expert dated March 12, 2021, and filed four days after, is “pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
The affected individuals and companies, according to the motion paper dated April 4, 2021, are: Albert Austin Ugochukwu- two accounts; Belfour Energy & Allied Services; Belfour Oil & Gas Ltd- three accounts; Circle Flow Integrated Services; Kacynaus Realty Nig Ltd- two accounts; and Tasmara Integrated Services.
After reading the affidavits in support of the application and listening to A. T. Kohol with Matthew Esq., counsel for the applicant, Justice Mohammed, also ruled that “the order is renewable on expiration, but only on good reasons shown.”
The judge also ruled that the applicant should publish the order on its website within three days, and that “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.”
The suit was thereafter adjourned to May 17, 2021.