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Lawyer explains how CBN violated Nigerians’ human rights



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Citizens Advocacy for Social

Lawyer and CEO of Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), Frank Tietie, on Wednesday accused the Central Bank of Nigeria of violating the fundamental right of Nigerians by following its directive to financial institutions to limit cash withdrawals for individuals at N100,000 weekly and N500,000 weekly for corporate entities.

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Federal Government

THE WHISTLER previously reported that the CBN issued the new directive to enforce the Federal Government‘s cashless policy.

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The main bank further ordered processing fees of five percent and ten percent to be imposed on individuals and businesses intending to withdraw cash.

In response to a statement made available to our correspondent, Tietie asked how such a policy directive will help individuals and businesses.

He argued that the policy contravenes the fundamental right of Nigerians to own and control movable property.

Nigerians and Nigeria

He claimed that CBN’s policy amounts to controlling how people spend their money, adding that it could backfire on Nigerians and Nigeria.

He said the development would encourage Nigerians to deposit their money in foreign safe havens to the detriment of the Nigerian economy.

His statement reads in part: “While I am by no means close to being a professional economist, I do claim an understanding of what constitutes liberties and civil liberties. Therefore, the combined use of cash and e-money that we currently have best serves the interests of Nigerians.

“One of the cardinal principles of banking is secrecy, but we kept quiet when we were about to lose it and we lost it intimately in the name of the fight against fraud and corruption. But corruption and fraud not only increased after we lost bank secrecy, they ran rampant in places high and low.

“Banking secrecy guaranteed freedom and privacy. Therefore, at one time, our banking laws did not allow anyone to know what was in another person’s account. Even law enforcement officers were restricted from investigating certain accounts, and banks were expressly prohibited from disclosing details of any bank account with amounts debited or credited to them. The law is still there but superseded by new policies and laws that have not improved the system.

“Banking secrecy and the unnecessary security of funds is the reason why entrepreneurs take their money and hide it in safe havens. No serious businessman would leave his money in a banking system where every bank teller who graduated yesterday from polytechnic can easily pry into his accounts and tell his friends how rich or poor a man is. certain bank customer. But those were the consequences when we imported measures to combat illicit banking to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and now kidnapping, without considering our unique situations and the need to preserve civil liberties and liberties.

“We certainly haven’t given much thought to the consequences of a near cashless society that the CBN plans to impose on Nigeria.

“For example, as a lawyer, I have had reason to witness the many times that the Nigerian police obtain ex parte orders from lower courts to block anyone’s bank accounts simply because of someone else’s complaints.

Just for organizing protests, some #EndSARS leaders have had their accounts blocked.

“Nigerian citizens need to learn and make up their minds to understand and get involved in public affairs as the future is coming faster than we thought and we don’t seem to be ready.

*Have we considered how much control authorities would have over citizens and their lives when they can block bank accounts at will in a cashless economy?

“What person or company will exercise reasonable control over their affairs with the ridiculous cash-out limits that CBN intends to impose?

“We lost our right to privacy when our bank secrecy was taken away and we stayed out of it. Now they want to take away our own rights and control our personal property (money) and we are once again stopped?

“This is about what the Nigerian people want because they own this country, even though most of them have been made to forget that fact.

“Policymakers cannot lord it over Nigerians and take away their rights under the assumption that the institutions know best and always act in the public interest. That is usually not true.

National Assembly

“Would the Nigerian people accept these cash restrictions from the CBN? That question is for the National Assembly to answer on behalf of the Nigerian people.”

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