CBN partially lifts freezing of 38 companies’ bank accounts

Godwin Emefiele CBN Governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria has lifted partially the freezing of bank accounts of 38 private companies in the country.

In a circular dated September 4, 2020 signed by Bello Hassan, CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, directed commercial banks to place the accounts of the 38 companies on Post-No-Debit order.

Also one of the companies listed by CBN is Premier Lotto owned by Nigerian billionaire Adebutu Kessington, popularly known as Baba Ijebu.

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Sources said the apex bank move comes months after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission launched an investigation into the activities of Adebutu for alleged tax fraud and economic sabotage.

However in the new directive by the CBN jointly signed by Jeremiah Abue, Director, Governors’ Department; and Bello Hassan, the bank said the partial lifting follows the plea by the companies to enable them pay winnings and salaries of staff.

“However, please note that the Post-No-Debit restriction on the accounts is still in place, subject to the identified exceptions, ‘’said the new circular.

“Accordingly, no other transaction should be processed for any of the companies during the period of this waiver.

According to the circular,“You are to open a subsidiary account from where payment of winnings, salaries and other restricted operational expenses such as purchase of diesel (other overhead expenses) will be passed into weekly. The debit on the subsidiary account will be vetted by the Central Bank of Nigeria and swept into the main account after approval from the CBN.’’

It also directed that a weekly report should be sent to the CBN for approval.

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