Let Us Explain Blaid Construction Ltd v. Access Bank

November 14, 2020

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

Access bank is no stranger to court cases relating to “Post No Debit” (PND) orders, and we will explain so in this article.

On November 4, 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) obtained an order from a Federal High Court in Abuja that empowered it to freeze the bank accounts of 20 individuals and organisations linked to the #EndSARS protests, stating that the court that the bank accounts might be operated by terrorists.

But, while the order and the subsequent action by the commercial banks, including Access Bank, to freeze the respective bank accounts has stirred a lot of controversies, including a boycott of the “Lagos Judicial Panel on Inquiry and Restitution For Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Lekki Toll Gate Incident” that held last Saturday, 7th November 2020, there are newer cases brewing.

What Should Have Happened?

The ideal story should be that the CBN obtained an ex-parte order from a Federal High Court in Abuja to “freeze” the accounts of 20 individuals and organizations linked to the #EndSARS protests, after which it showed this order to the commercial banks – Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank, who then proceeded to block financial transactions on the respective bank accounts.

Think of it like an SS3 school prefect getting a written order from the school principal to punish all SS2 students. The school prefect then goes ahead to present this order to the class captains of all the SS2 classes. This is because the school prefect must derive her authority from somewhere, in this case, the school principal.

But what if the school prefect did not get an order from the principal before telling class prefects to punish SS2 students? Or, what if the CBN did not get a court order before telling commercial banks to freeze the accounts of these #EndSARS protesters?

Read: What Is An Ex Parte Order?

Blaid Construction Ltd v. Access Bank

In Blaid Construction Ltd v. Access Bank, a 2017 case, Access Bank, placed a “post-no-debit” order on the accounts of Blaid Construction Limited and Blaid Properties Limited, after a letter from the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) directed it to. Also, the EFCC obtained an order before a Federal High Court in which the bank was also instructed to place a post-no-debit alert on accounts held by the Blaid Construction. Both orders were meant to last for three months: from 1st July 2016 to 30th September 2016.

However, after three months, the post-no-debit order continued. So, in 2017, Blaid Construction took Access Bank to court, arguing that Access Bank’s denial of their right to operate their bank account was illegal and unlawful, and that access bank should pay them ₦500 million as damages for violating bank and customer relationship, among other things.

In its own defence, Access Bank argued that the post-no-debit alert was placed on the Blaid Construction’s accounts because it was complying with the ICPC’s letter.

Delivering a judgement that favoured Blaid Construction Ltd, the court stated that ICPC lacked the power to place a post-no-debit alert on bank accounts without first obtaining an order from the court and that the conduct of Access ban to “unilaterally” freeze the account of Blaid Construction Ltd is illegal.

The court then ordered Access Bank to pay ₦5 million as damages to Blaid Construction Limited.

What Is Going On In This Present Case?

A post-no-debit order is an order that prevents all transactions from taking place on a bank account, either through ATMs, credit cards, cheques, or any other means. And from the case, we have seen, a court order must be gotten before a post-no-debit can be placed on bank accounts, or an account can be “freezed”.

But new facts now show that the CBN did not obtain a post-no-debit order before directing banks to freeze the bank accounts of #EndSARS protesters.

In a letter obtained by People’s Gazette, a news website, details show that Access Bank was communicating with Gatefield Nigeria Limited, one of the companies who were affected by the CBN’s post-no-debit order, since as far back as 26th October, more than a week before the post-no-debit order was approved the court.

And Access Bank have also explained on Twitter that they are “compelled” to comply with regulatory directives.

But we have explained that all post-no-debit orders must be approved by the court, Gatefield Limited is having none of this. The company has gone ahead to sue Access Bank to court for “unilaterally” freezing its bank account, and it all really looks like the 2017 case, all over again.

Read: 17 Things Only People Who Have Been To A Nigerian Bank Will Understand

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday by 10am for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Doyin Olagunju

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

September 21, 2020

Ozo and Oshiomole were both sent packing this weekend. Who would have thought? Moral: Try no dey too clingy, show dey end. Meanwhile, we look at some lessons from both BBNaija and Edo voting centres. 1. Nigerians massively voted for the BBNaija candidates but were less enthusiastic about the Edo Governorship elections. Checking records from […]


Now on Zikoko

January 26, 2021

Times are tough for everyone. But for people whose friends earn more or have a higher purchasing power, social anxiety is always a thing. This is definitely not fun. In this article, 5 Nigerians talk about what it means to be the ‘broke friend’ and everything that comes with it. Dayo, 26 My friend buys […]

January 26, 2021

Growing up, Max* hated dresses and, for that reason alone, he loathed Sundays when his parents demanded that he and his younger sister wore a dress and a head covering as they went to church.  ‘‘I wore a skirt to school from Monday to Friday, but it was the dresses on Sunday that really made […]

Recommended Quizzes

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

More from Citizen

January 13, 2021

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning presented the approved 2021 budget to the public via a virtual conference call. If you missed it, here are a few things we think you will be interested in.  1. How will Nigeria finance the budget deficit? Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said […]

January 1, 2021

Abroad Life has a special place in my heart. I’m always super happy to speak to people about their lives and how living abroad has changed the way they view things. It’s also really great to hear people’s stories and see foreigners through the eyes of Nigerians. Today, I’m going to be sharing the most […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.