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CBN freezes Baba Ijebu, 37 companies’ accounts over ‘forex infractions’

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has placed a post-no-debit restriction on the bank accounts of 38 companies, including that of Baba Ijebu (aka Premier Lotto), TopNaija reports.

 

The affected accounts belong to betting companies, bureau de change companies and some logistics companies. One of the companies, Premier Lotto, is owned by Adebutu Kessington, a Nigerian businessman popularly known as “Baba Ijebu”.

TopNaija reports that the companies are being accused of forex infractions, moving forex abroad without the required authorisation and “economic sabotage”. Sources reveal that one of the gaming companies moved $420 million abroad under the guise of purchasing software.

But the funds were later traced to the foreign accounts of some of the directors of the company.

“The forex was sourced from the black market, thereby putting pressure on the exchange rate. The gaming companies are awash with naira which sit in their bank accounts, so they devised a way of moving the funds abroad,” another source confided.

The September 4 memo signed by Bello Hassan, director of banking supervision, read: “You are hereby required to place the under listed accounts on post-no-debit with immediate effect and revert with the account names, numbers, currencies and balances of all accounts placed on PND”.

A post-no-debit means that all debit transactions, including ATMs and cheques, on the accounts have been blocked but money can be deposited into the accounts.

Some of the affected companies are Premier Lotto Limited, 3D Scanners Bureau De Change Limited, Blue Wall Nigeria Limited, JNFX International Limited and Northline Limited.

Others are SV Gaming Limited, R&S Lotto Limited, TM Gaming Networks Limited, Escale Oil and Gas Limited, Barkoli Trading Company Limited, Godoni Enterprises Limited. The apex bank said only the listed companies should be placed on PND adding that all related accounts be excluded.

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