HURIWA joins calls to stop FG from freezing accounts without BVNs

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko

Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has filed an application before the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking to stop the Federal Government from freezing bank accounts without Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs).

In a motion on notice dated October 24, 2017 and filed on October 30, 2017, HURIWA sought to be joined as the 21st defendant in suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/911/2017 between the Federal Government, 19 commercial banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The group is seeking to be joined in the suit, because the cause of action was akin to a class action, while the parties affected by the order were not before the court.

Another ground was that the applicant has a vested interest in the matter by virtue of the fact that it was established to promote and protect the rights of every individual in Nigeria.

It also stated that the order of judgment of the court would affect applicants’ interest, as the people’s right it sought to protect would be trampled upon.

In an affidavit in support of the motion, disposed to by Emmanuel Onwubiko, the applicant stated that there would be a miscarriage of justice, where the applicant was not joined to represent the interest of Nigerians that would be affected by the judgment.

The applicant also held that individuals or corporations that would be affected by the final judgment would not be able to maintain a suit against it, as there would be a plethora of suits against it.

In a motion pursuant to Order 9, Rule 1 and Rule 15 (1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedures) rules 2009, the applicant also sought an order of the court to join other applicants as the 21st defendant in the suit.

HURIWA asked the court to determine whether it could make an order joining the applicant, being an interested party, as a defendant in the suit.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, recently granted an ex parte order to the Federal Government to freeze bank accounts of customers without BVNs in 19 commercial banks.

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