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The Federal High Court in Abuja has okayed an interim order to freeze about 1 146 bank accounts allegedly linked to unauthorized foreign exchange transactions by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.

Justice Emeka Nwite ordered that the identified accounts belonging to individuals and companies should be frozen for at least 90 days to allow the federal government to conclude its investigations and that they could have been used for money laundering and terrorism financing.

“It is at this moment ordered as follows: That the applicant’s application is hereby granted as prayed.

“That an order of this honourable court is at this moment 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 extent that the investigation will be for 90 (Ninety) days,” the court held.

The order, dated April 24 but sighted by Journalists on Monday, followed an ex parte application brought before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The anti-graft agency had, in the motion ex-parte marked FHC/ABJ/CS/543/2024, maintained that the accounts it listed in a schedule it attached to the court process were the subject of its ongoing investigations.

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

“That there is a need to preserve the funds in the identified bank accounts pending the conclusion of the investigation and possible prosecution,” the EFCC added in the affidavit that its lawyer, Mr Ekele Iheanacho, filed.

Some of the accounts the EFCC listed in the attached schedule included 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.

Others were 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 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 Asuquo, Opay Digital Services Ltd account number: 9020132068.

As well as: Akingbade Sabit Juwon, ECONANK account number: 3442053006; Nsofor Nmamdi, Union Bank account number: 0140460572; Asuquo 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 Ajala, Fidelity Bank account number: 5090680780.

Meanwhile, Justice Nwite adjourned the matter till July 23 for mention.

It will be  that the court had, in March, ordered Binance Holdings Limited to release to the EFCC a comprehensive detail of all persons from Nigeria that are trading on its platform.

Nigeria’s government has since charged the company and two top officials to court for money laundering and tax evasion.

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