NIGERIA – Sam Amadi, ex-Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has condemned the freezing of some End SARS advocates’ bank accounts.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, gave the order.
A total of 20 accounts, including those of some social media influencers, were affected.
One the list is Rinu Oduala, a youth representative on the Lagos Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) impunity.
In his reaction, Amadi stated that the justice system in Nigeria now favours the authorities to the detriment of the people.
He condemned the laws that allow courts to rule on an application without defendants’ argument or appearance.
Amadi wondered how affected protesters will get money when desperately in need.
“To tell you how foolish our laws – statutory and judicial – can be imagine this: You freeze someone’s account for 180 days (6 months) without hearing that person and without any criminal charge and criminal trial. The order is just to allow an agency carry out an investigation”, the Harvard alumni wrote on Facebook.
“Ok, what will the owner of the account do for 6 months? Why would such investigation last for 6 months? If the owner of account becomes sick or in dire need of funds for emergencies, he or she would stay without access to the account or accounts for 6 months? Why not a month? Note that the agency has no incentives to hurry any possible investigations.
“We need to review the laws that authorize such exparte orders to be made to give sweeping powers to agencies and government authorities against citizens. Judges should show restraint and even impose constraining conditions for such application. Legal justice in Nigeria is becoming justice for the state and not for citizens. #EndSARS.”