In recent months, we have witnessed the CBN crackdown on the operation of fintech, and on 18 August 2021, events took another turn as the CBN obtained an interim order to freeze the account of certain fintech companies.

The federal high court granted the order after CBN applied to freeze the accounts of the said companies for a period of 180 days, noting that these companies have gone against the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (“FEMMPA”), CBN FX Manual 2018, and CBN circulars refraining financial institutions from trading in cryptocurrencies.

In particular, the CBN alleges that these fintech’s have played roles in illegal foreign exchange, trading, accessing and procuring foreign exchange, foreign securities, and cryptocurrencies through their bank accounts.

Our newsletter examines the legality of the allegations of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the extent of their power to freeze bank accounts under BOFIA.