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BREAKING: Nigerian Court Unfreezes Cryptocurrency Accounts

BREAKING: Nigerian Court Unfreezes Cryptocurrency Accounts

The Federal High Court in Abuja has vacated an interim order which directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze accounts of two firms in two banks that were linked to cryptocurrency trading.

SAHARA REPORTERS reports that the firm, Rise Vest Technologies Ltd, is one of the firms offering brokerage services for Nigerians to invest in foreign stocks. Information Guide Nigeria

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According to Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo, the CBN could not rely on a mere circular to freeze the accounts of a company using its accounts to trade in cryptocurrency.

Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo  said, “I have perused the counter affidavit of the Respondent and I see that the reason for freezing the account of the applicant is based on the alleged infraction of the circular of the CBN.

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“The law is trite that any conduct that must be sanctioned must be expressly stated in a written law. Being unknown to law, circulars cannot create an offence because it was not shown to have been issued under an order, Act, Law or Statute.

“The learned counsel for the respondent has also raised the issue of public policy in his submissions against the application. Can this court decide this application based on public policy as being urged on it by the learned counsel for the respondent? I think not.

“I hereby discharge the interim freezing order of this court made on August 17, 2021, made against the defendant/ applicant.” Jamb Result

The judge ordered Zenith Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank to immediately grant the firm unfettered access to the accounts.

Justice Taiwo reports that the CBN did not provide any law which proves that cryptocurrency in Nigeria is illegal.

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As reported by SAHARA REPORTERS, Justice Taiwo stated that the CBN circular, referenced as BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/014/001 of February 5, 2021, is not a law.

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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