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Rice Smuggling: Court Orders Freezing Of 45 Bank Accounts

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CBN Investigates Company For Rice Smuggling

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday ordered the temporary freezing of 45 bank accounts linked to the smuggling of rice into Nigeria.

The accounts are said to belong to three companies identified as Sun Sam A1 International Limited, Sun Sam International Limited and Sunchrist O. Trans Nigeria Limited and are domiciled with ten commercial banks in Nigeria.

The banks are First Bank Nigeria PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Union Bank PLC, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank PLC, Sterling Bank, Access Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Polaris Bank and Eco Bank Nigeria.

NAN in its report says Justice Ahmed Mohammed has directed the head offices of the banks to freeze forthwith all transactions from those accounts for 45 days pending the outcome of the investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The court verdict follows an ex-parte application on behalf of the CBN by its counsel, Nosike Nicholas, to freeze the accounts for 90 days.

The Judge however granted the apex bank permission to freeze the accounts for only 45 days, adding that the order was subject to renewal for further days upon an application by the CBN, in the event that its investigation could not be concluded within the first 45 days.

The case was adjourned to Dec. 12 for further hearing.


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