Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

CBN granted order to freeze suspects’ accounts for alleged Forex scam

*Order to aid investigation of dealers for illegal procurement of foreign currencies ─CBN’s Godwin Emefiele

*Suspects’ activities constitute serious risk to financial stability of Forex, economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For an alleged foreign exchange (Forex) market scam considered to have undermined the nation’s economy, a Federal High Court, in Lagos, has frozen for 180 days the bank accounts of Forex dealers suspected of upsetting the financial stability of the market and the entire country.

It was learnt Justice Muslim Hassan gave the order subsequent to an ex parte application by Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Report said that the CBN told the judge that the order would aid its ongoing investigation of dealers allegedly procuring foreign currencies to import items which had been designated as invalid for the Forex market.

The names of the four affected bank accounts frozen by Justice Hassan are Raufu Folashade, Yusufu Ali, Ali Yusufu and Ali Yusufu.

The CBN has purported that the illegal activities of the dealers had continually undermined the Bankers’ Bank’s “efforts to maintain a stable foreign exchange regime, which causes significant economic and financial instability to the Nigerian economy.”

Adekola Mustapha, counsel to the Central Bank of Nigeria, told Justice Hassan that there was an urgent need to freeze the four bank accounts because “there is a strong probability that the respondents may tamper with the funds currently in their various bank accounts, which are strongly connected to or being strongly suspected to be proceeds of the serious infractions of the foreign exchange market regulations.”

Afolabi Oyelodun, a litigation officer in Mustapha’s office, while supporting the affidavit to the ex parte application, revealed that the “preliminary investigation revealed that the respondent applied the foreign exchange obtained from the CBN, through their various bank accounts, to fund transactions in some prohibited items, leading to serious infractions and violation of the CBN circular, TED/FEM/GEN/01/010 of June 23, 2015.

“The activities of the respondents now under investigation constitute serious risk to the financial stability of the foreign exchange market and the economy at large.

“It is in the interest of justice, safety of the economy and public policy that this application is granted by the honourable court.”

Justice Hassan granted the application as prayed.

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