Court unfreezes the accounts of fintech firms temporarily to enable salary, rent payment – Nairametrics

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, granted the request of Bamboo Systems Technology Limited and Bamboo Systems Tech. Ltd., to temporarily unfreeze their accounts.

The order from the court follows the filing of an application by both firms asking for a variation of the order made by the court to allow the companies have access to its funds to pay rent and workers’ salaries.

According to NAN, the counsel to the two firms, Mr Chiezohu Okpoko (SAN), told the court that his clients were also asking for an amicable resolution of the matter.

However, the counsel to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Michael Aondoakaa, (SAN), who had filed the ex-parte motion to freeze the companies’ accounts, told the court that he was not opposed to the application for variation.

What the Counsel to CBN is saying

Aondoakaa said, “They want a partial variation to allow them access funds to pay rent and workers’ salaries; they also want an amicable settlement. We are not opposed to this and we are open to an amicable settlement, all we want is that they should operate within the guidelines of the law.

“So we agree to a partial variation to the extent of what they have asked for with regard to paying rent, salaries and an amicable settlement.’’

What the Judge said in his ruling

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja, in his ruling, granted the prayer for partial variation of the order, and ordered the accounts of the 2 companies to be unfrozen.

He said, “An order is hereby made varying the freezing order of this court made on Aug. 17, as it affects the 2nd and 3rd respondents.

“This is to allow the companies to pay rent on the property they are occupying, pay salaries of workers and allow for amicable settlement.’’

The judge, thereafter, adjourned the matter until Feb. 17, 2022.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that on August 17, 2021, a federal high court in Abuja granted the request of the CBN to freeze accounts of 6 fintech companies for 180 days pending the completion of investigations on their involvement in illegal foreign exchange trading by the fintech companies.
  • The accounts include Rise Vest Technologies Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited, Bamboo Systems Technology Limited OPNS, Chaka Technologies Limited, CTL/Business Expenses, and Trove Technologies Limited.
  • The CBN alleged that Rise Vest 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.
  • The apex bank through its counsel, Chief Micheal Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, claimed the investment companies were playing a part in making the Naira weaker to the United States dollars, because of the foreign exchange deals carried out on their platforms. There was therefore the need to block the accounts of these companies for about 180 days.

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