Forex Crisis: EFCC Receives Court’s Approval To Freeze 1,146 Accounts


Apr 29, 2024

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an interim order authorizing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to freeze a total of 1,146 bank accounts belonging to various individuals and companies. The accounts are suspected to be involved in unauthorized foreign exchange dealings, money laundering, and terrorism financing. Justice Emeka Nwite issued the ruling on an ex-parte motion filed by Ekele Iheanacho, counsel for the EFCC, and also granted the commission 90 days to complete its investigation into the matter.

The affected accounts are spread across various banks in the country, and the EFCC alleges that they were used for illicit financial activities. The commission’s application to freeze the accounts was made pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006, and Section 44(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

The EFCC’s investigation is aimed at uncovering the individuals and entities behind the suspicious transactions and bringing them to justice. The commission’s efforts are part of its ongoing campaign to combat financial crimes and protect Nigeria’s financial system from abuse.

Justice Nwite said: “It is hereby ordered as follows:

“That the applicant’s application is hereby granted as prayed.

“That an order of this honourable court is hereby made freezing the bank accounts stated in the schedule below which accounts are owned by various individuals who are currently being investigated in a case involving the offences of unauthorised dealing in foreign exchange, money laundering and terrorism financing to the extant that the investigation will be for a period of 90 (Ninety) days.”

NAN reports that though the ruling was delivered on April 24, its certified true copy was sighted on Monday.

The EFCC, in the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/543/2024 dated and filed April 24 by Iheanacho, was heard by the judge same day in the interest of national interest.

The motion was brought pursuant to Section 44(2) and (K) of the 1999 Constitution; Section 34 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004; Section 7(8) of the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2022 and under the inherent juruduxtion of the court.

The agency had sought the order freezing the bank accounts stated in the schedule attached to the motion pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Giving three grounds upon which the reliefs were sought, it said: “The bank accounts in respect of which the reliefs are sought are subject matters of investigation by the EFCC in relation to money laundering and terrorism financing.

“That preliminary investigation conducted thus far reveals that the bank accounts are linked to persons who take advantage of the virtual crypto currency exchange platforms to illegal manipulate the value of Naira and laundering proceeds of unlawful activities.

“That there is need to preserve the funds in the identified bank accounts pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution.”

Some of the account names mentioned in the attached schedule are Akitoye Adeyemi Ayomide with GTBank account number; 0165110025; Clyp Trading Ltd, Titan Trust Bank account number: 0000331101; Clyp Consulting Ltd, Providous account number: 9401374554; and Toyetech Platforms Ltd, Titan Trust Bank account number: 0000134962.

They also include Winx International Platforms Ltd, Titan Trust Bank account number: 0000135055; Shutterscore Trading Platforms Ltd, Access Bank account number: 1532363954; Tradecillion Trading Ltd, Stanbic IBTC account number: 0045672922; and Nsofor Donald Nmamdi, GTBank account number: 0449088666

They equally include Kora Payments Network Ltd-Operations, UBA account number: 1022242089; Renderstack Technologies Ltd, Zenith Bank account number: 1210355120; Korex Payments Ltd, Globus account number: 5000007837; and Awe Microfinance Bank Ltd, Providous account number: 5400760781; and Victor Samuel Asuquo, Opay Digital Services Ltd account number: 9020132068.

Others are Akingbade Sabit Juwon, ECONANK account number: 3442053006; Nsofor Donald Nmamdi, Union Bank account number: 0140460572; Asuquo Victor Samuel, First Bank account number: 3153199542; Oty Ugochukwu Stanley, FCMB account number: 4039304011; Oty & Sons Global Concepts, Fidelity Bank account number: 6060410145; and Pelumi Ayandoye, Wema Bank account number: 0234852277; and David George Ajala, Fidelity Bank account number: 5090680780, among others.

NAN had, on March 18, reported that Justice Nwite equally ordered Binance Holdings Limited to provide EFCC with the comprehensive data or information of all persons from Nigeria trading on its platform.

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The judge granted the interim order on Feb. 29 to enable the anti-graft agency unravel the alleged money laundering and terrorism financing on Binance, a crypto currency exchange platform.

The commission had told the judge that its investigation team uncovered users who had been using the platform for price discovery, confirmation and market manipulation which had caused tremendous distortions in the market, resulting in the Naira losing its values against other currencies.

It said that from the information afforded to the team by Binance showed that the total trading volume from Nigeria in 2023 alone stood at $21.6 billion.

NAN reports that while EFCC is currently prosecuting Binance and two of its executives on alleged money laundering charge, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is prosecuting the company on alleged tax evasion offences.


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