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Nigerian Court Orders the Reopening of Two Bank Accounts Used for Crypto Trading 

Nigerian Court Orders the Reopening of Two Bank Accounts Used for Crypto Trading 


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an order directing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze bank accounts belonging to Rise Vest Technology Limited, which were reported to have been used in cryptocurrency trading. 

Local news outlet Sahara Reporters noted that Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo dismissed the earlier ruling on the grounds that the directive issued by the CBN to financial institutions to block all crypto-related accounts was a “mere circular” and not a law. 

According to a submission made by Rise Vest’s counsel, the CBN did not provide any proof that the firm was engaging in unlawful financial activities before blocking its accounts. 

In a counter motion, the CBN’s attorney argued that the directive by the apex bank was lawful and valid in accordance with Section 97 (1) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2021.

The Latest Ruling 

Justice Taiwo said Nigeria’s apex bank had, on different occasions, failed to provide a law to back its declaration that cryptocurrency trading is illegal in the country. 

Following the CBN’s inability to provide concrete legal backing, the Abuja Federal High Court ordered the involving banks, Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank to grant Rise Vest access to its bank accounts.  

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

Nigeria’s Fight Against Bitcoin 

Recall that after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called on Nigerians to raise funds using Bitcoin (BTC) during the fight against police brutality in 2020, the country’s apex bank moved against the asset class in February 2021, directing financial institutions to stop dealing with cryptocurrencies. 

One of the directives contained in the circular also required that banks close the accounts of their customers who are into cryptocurrency trading. 

While many thought the directive was not too serious, the CBN, on August 17, 2021, obtained a court order from a Federal High court in Abuja, which granted its prayers to close several bank accounts belonging to six fintech companies, including Rise Vest Technology for a period of 180 days. 

However, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who made the ruling, asked any of the defendants who felt aggrieved about the order to approach the court within the period to seek redress. 



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