Access Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest lending institution, is accused of illegally blocking an account used for media coverage of protests against police brutality that recently swept Africa’s most populous country.
Public relations firm Gatefield Nigeria Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Access Bank on October 28 in federal court in Abuja, the country’s capital, accusing the creditor of “unilaterally limiting” his account and claiming $ 100 million in damages. naira ($ 262,000), according to court records. The account was used to raise money to support independent Nigerian journalists who followed the nationwide demonstrations that lasted nearly three weeks, according to the company.
“As more people contributed to our efforts, we noticed that we were no longer able to transact in the dedicated account we used for this particular business,” Gatefield chief strategist from Abuja Adewunmi said by phone on Tuesday. Emoruva.
The lawsuit will verify whether the suspension of Gatefield’s account without a court order was unlawful. There have been other claims on social media by individuals and organizations that their accounts were restricted during the protests for seemingly similar reasons.
“Successful litigation can make a difference for others who have been similarly persecuted,” said Emoruva.
Access Bank informed Gatefield that it was ordered by the Central Bank of Nigeria to impose account limits imposed on October 15, Emoruwa said. An Access Bank spokesman said the lender does not comment on its clients to third parties. A central bank spokesman did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment.
Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group, “has documented several cases in which organizations and individuals were frozen after receiving or disbursing funds to support the #EndSARS protests,” e-e-mail its Nigerian researcher Aniti Evan …
Source: – Bloomberg