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Court strikes out ₦400m account freezing suit against CBN

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by one Mr Babatunde Victor Segun, who claimed that his bank account was unlawfully frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and United Bank of Africa (UBA).
Justice Emeka Nwite, in his judgement on Friday, May 10, 2024, held that the suit lacked merit and dismissed it without cost.

The Applicant had approached the court in 2021 in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1339/2021, claiming that the CBN and UBA blocked his UBA account from October 15, 2020, till November 4, 2020, without due process.

He asked the court to award him ₦400 million as compensation for the alleged unlawful restriction of the account, and cost of his action.

In arguing the Applicant’s case, Segun’s lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) argued that blocking his account without due process of law was unconstitutional, and a violation of his rights to own property under the Constitution, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights.

But countering Falana, Lead Counsel to CBN, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) of Kenna Partners leading Abdulfatai Oyedele, Esq. of Vantage Attorneys LP, submitted that the CBN does not provide banking services to individuals and does not have any banker-customer relationship with Mr. Segun.

Ajogwu further submitted that the Applicant had failed to adduce any evidence that his human rights were infringed upon by the CBN.

But delivering judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with Ajogwu’s position that the apex bank does not transact with individuals.

The judge also upheld Ajogwu’s submission that the Applicant failed to provide evidence in the action to prove that his fundamental human rights were violated by the CBN and UBA when his UBA bank account was frozen.

The court thus held that the suit lacked merit and dismissed the suit without cost.

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