Activists linked to the #EndSARS protests have said the Post No Debit restriction placed on their accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria has yet to be lifted.
The CBN had in October 2020 asked banks to freeze the bank accounts of about 20 individuals involved in controlling #EndSARS funds.
The affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Gatefield Nigeria Limited, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise, Mosopefoluwa Odeseye and Adegoke Pamilerin Emmanuel.
Others are Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon and Idunu A. Williams.
The #EndSARS protests, which held for 13 days in various parts of the country, called for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the police and urged the government to carry out general police reforms.
Donations were received in various currencies, including naira and dollars using Flutterwave to provide food, medical care and legal aid to protesters.
However, the donation link was disabled. The donation was subsequently moved to Bitcoin.
Speaking with PUNCH, Odeseye said she was also denied issuance of passport by the Nigeria Immigration Service who informed her she had been blacklisted and asked to proceed to Abuja.
She said, “But before then, a friend reached out to me that why couldn’t we put out information that we wanted to make food for the protesters at Alausa and I said okay. Immediately, a few people reached out and they asked for bank details and all of that , people started sending in money to support the project; that was how I got involved in the protest.
“One of those days, one or two people needed to send money to me and they couldn’t send it and their accounts were not restricted. They wondered what was wrong with my account. (There was) no formal form of communication by the CBN.
“I didn’t find it funny, I didn’t commit any crime. So I felt very horrible and wondered why I was blacklisted. So as we speak now, my bank account has not been released to me yet, I don’t have my passport yet.”
Also speaking, Israel, a pharmacist, who was in charge of the #EndSARS medical team in Port Harcourt, said, “It’s being three months now and I cant even have access to my money; the money is just there, the money I have worked for in all my life. I have people that depend on me, I have my family, my mum, my dad, siblings. I can’t even take care of my self, my family. I am sure other people who have their accounts frozen by CBN have the same issues too.
“For three months, it’s being a terrible experience, I have to beg people for money. But it’s not my fight, I have to continue this fight. We have to be resilient and resolute about this issue. Why should they come and clamp down on an innocent Nigerian like me?
“I was in charge of the medical team in Port Harcourt and we had people donating for medical supplies, food, water, ambulance services and these donations were made directly into my account and of course these donations had EndSARS descriptions so I think that was how they were able to flag my account.
“I was trying to make a debit transaction on my account and noticed that there was a restriction. So, I visited a branch of Access Bank in UNIPORT, and the branch manager sent a mail to the head office. The response to the mail was that there was a directive from the CBN to restrict the account.
“The lady was surprised and even asked me if I had any issue with the CBN.”
Saharareporters, New York