By John Ikani
A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the request of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze accounts of fintech companies for 180 days.
The fintech companies are Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses, Trove Technologies Limited and Risevest Technologies Limited.
The motion which sought to freeze the accounts was filed by Chief Micheal Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, on behalf of the CBN Governor for the purpose of probing the financial activities of these four fintech companies in Nigeria.
The CBN alleged that Risevest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Chaka Technologies Limited and Trove Technologies Limited, were complicit in operating without license as asset management companies “and utilizing FX sourced from the Nigerian FX market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares in contravention of the CBN circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/012, dated July 01, 2015.”
“It is evident that Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Chaka Technologies Limited and Trove Technologies Limited are complicit in operating without license as asset management companies and utilising FX sourced from the Nigerian FX market for purchasing foreign bonds/shares in contravention of CBN’s directive,” the CBN said.
The prosecutor also told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that the foreign exchange deals done with the defendants were making the Naira weaker to the United States dollars, hence, the need to block 15 of their accounts for about 180 days.
In his ruling, Ahmed Mohammed said: “having listened to senior counsel to the applicant, on the motion ex parte filed in August, it is granted as prayed.”
He added that any person who feels aggrieved about the freezing order is entitled to approach the court within the period to seek redress.
He then adjourned the matter to February 20, 2022, for hearing.
In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the investing public on the proliferation of unregistered online investment and trading platforms, facilitating access to trading in securities listed in foreign markets.
The regulator had advised capital market operators who work in concert with the referenced online platforms to desist.