Friday, 29 October 2021

Nigerian Judge Rules in Favour of Accused Crypto Startup, Accounts to Be Reopened


A Nigerian Federal Court judge recently ruled that the two frozen bank accounts belonging to Rise Vest Technologies, which is accused of trading cryptocurrencies, must be reopened.

CBN’s Bank Account Freeze Order Dismissed

In a ruling that overturns the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s August 17 decision to freeze the bank accounts, Judge Taiwo Taiwo is quoted by The Nation insisting that the central bank could not simply rely on a mere circular when deciding to close an account.

In addition, the news outlet quotes the judge explaining in his ruling that the CBN’s February 6 directive to banks is, in fact, not the law. Judge Taiwo notes in his ruling that the CBN had failed to furnish the court with the relevant sections of the law which prove that cryptocurrency trading is indeed illegal.

“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. The law is trite that any conduct that must be sanctioned must be expressly stated in a written law,” said Judge Taiwo.


Central Bank Circulars Not Law

The judge asserts that since such circulars are unknown to the law, the CBN cannot, therefore, use these as a basis for punishing errant companies.

Meanwhile, the same report also quotes judge Taiwo questioning the CBN’s inclusion of public policy considerations in its submissions against Rise Vest Technologies’ application.


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