Court orders banks to unfreeze RiseVest account blocked by CBN – Nairametrics
A Federal High Court in Abuja overturned with immediate effect an interim decision under which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) froze RiseVest Technologies’ bank accounts at two banks.
The Nigerian Central Bank blocked the bank accounts of some fintech platforms, including RiseVest, in August.
The CBN alleged, among other things, that some of the transactions of the relevant fintech companies violated its directive and contributed to the weakening of the naira against the US dollar.
What the court says
The parties to the lawsuit are CBN Governor (Plaintiff / Defendant) V Rise Vest Technologies Ltd (1st Defendant / Plaintiff) and five others.
The court delivered the judgment while ruling on a notice motion filed by Rise Vest Technologies, asking the court to release a provisional freezing order granted by the court on August 17, 2021, in Case No: FHC / ABJ / CS / 822/2021, which The Nation received on Monday.
Mr Seni Adio (SAN), attorney for Rist Vest Technologies, argued that the CBN had failed to provide any evidence that the defendant had participated in any unlawful behavior and that the CBN had failed to discharge its duty of evidence in support of its claims. .
Mr. Mathew Onoja, counsel for CBN, asserted that the ex parte orders sought to be set aside were appropriate, legal and valid.
He claimed that the August 17, 2021 rulings in the case were made in accordance with Section 97 (1) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2021, which allowed the plaintiff / defendant to invoke the jurisdiction of the Court via an ex parte decision. application.
Judge Taiwo O. Taiwo confirmed Adio’s argument in his ruling. He said the CBN couldn’t depend on a simple circular to freeze a company’s bank account if it was using its bank accounts to trade cryptocurrency.
The judge pointed out that the CBN had not produced any law demonstrating that cryptocurrency trading is prohibited in Nigeria and that the CBN Circular, BSD / DIR / PUB / LAB / 014/001 of February 5, 2021, no. is not a law.
Justice Taiwo said in his decision:âI have read the Respondent’s Counter Affidavit and see that the reason for freezing the Applicant’s account is based on the alleged breach of the CBN Circular.
“Can this court rule on this request on the basis of public order as invited by the respondent’s learned lawyer?” I do not think so.
âI hereby discharge the provisional freezing order of this tribunal issued on August 17, 2021 against the defendant / applicant. “
Judge Taiwo ordered the two banks to immediately provide the company with unrestricted access to the accounts.