By Dipo Olowookere
The Ekiti State Government has reacted to reports that it plans to shut down a branch of Access Bank in the state for ‘detaining’ Mrs Precious Fani-Kayode, wife of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, on the instruction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday.
Mrs Fani-Kayode had gone to a branch of the bank in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, to make a transaction, but was ‘detained’ because her account was flagged by the anti-graft agency. It took the intervention of the state Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, to free the woman and her eight-month-old baby from the bank.
It was reported that Mr Fayose had later vowed not to allow the bank operate in the state as long as he remains the one citizen of Ekiti State because of the treatment meted out to his friend’s wife, who was in the state to visit him.
But in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi, it was explained that the government had nothing against Access Bank and there was no reason whatsoever to chase the bank out of the state.
Mr Adelusi said the rumour was “definitely coming from the warped minds of opposition elements, whose mouths have been locked by the sterling performance of Governor Ayodele Fayose and the unprecedented support he is enjoying from the people of the state.”
He stressed that, “For the sake of clarity, Ekiti State Government has no axe to grind with the management of Access Bank. Also, the state government does not license banks and can’t withdraw same.
“We enjoin the good people of Ekiti State and Nigerians in general to disregard such unfounded rumours.
“They should not let themselves be dragged to the level of the unintelligent like the opposition people have shown by embarking on this type of insinuation they probably brought from the pit of hell.”