- Former minister to sue anti-graft agency
Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
In what looks like a wild drama to onlookers, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) monday allegedly detained the wife of the former Minister of Aviation, Mrs Precious Fani-Kayode and her baby in a bank in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital while making withdrawal.
Mrs Fani-Kayode was said to have visited Ekiti to felicitate with Governor Ayodele Fayose who just celebrated his second year in office last Sunday.
Mrs. Fani-Kayode had gone to Access Bank branch in Ado Ekiti around 3p.m for transactions when she was detained by officials of the bank.
Sensing that she was not being promptly attended to, she inquired from officials what the problem was and was told she was being detained on the instruction of the EFCC for four hours.
The victim, who had her eight-month-old baby with her at the time, was prevented from leaving the banking hall thereafter.
It took the intervention of Governor Fayose who led scores of supporters to the bank around 7p.m. to secure her release.
Speaking after the incident, Mrs. Fani-Kayode, lamented that she was badly treated by the officials while her baby was denied food.
“I’m not a politician and that account had been dormant for about five years. I only activated it last month in Port Harcourt. I decided to go to Access Bank to make some withdrawals when I was detained on the instruction of the EFCC.
“They told me account had been frozen and they were asked by the EFCC to arrest me on the spot. I have been operating the account since 2005 when I was a student in the university. They had earlier frozen my two banks which they have not opened till today and I have been waiting for them to invite me up till today they have not.
“The balance in the account is just N200,000, so I don’t know what their interest is. I’m a private person, I have not received any political fund, so why are they trying to starve my family? That account has nothing to with politics. This is dehumanising. I had to call the governor to inform him of the development.”
Condemning the action of the EFCC and the attitude of the bank officials, Fayose warned the anti-graft agency against lawlessness and reckless behaviour against Nigerians.
“They can’t try that nonsense in my state. If they try it, it will be a showdown. They are over-stepping their boundary. This is a country that operates a constitution. What kind of molestation is this? You can’t take away the rights of Nigerians because you are investigating.
“Must they terrorise people because they are in opposition? I have demanded an apology from the bank and if they fail to do that, I’m done with them. This is lawlessness.”
In a telephone interview with THISDAY, Femi Fani-Kayode, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged the government to leave his family members alone and face him.
“This government is sick and cowardly and so are the EFCC. If you have a problem with me face me and leave my family alone.
“My wife travelled to Ado Ekiti to see my friend and brother, Fayose and his family.
“They were on their way out of town when they went to Access Bank in Ado Ekiti to get some money.
They were illegally detained, brutalised and put under arrest on the orders of the EFCC at a bank in Ado Ekiti today.
“She has never had any business with me, she has never been formally invited by the EFCC or asked any question about her transactions and neither have they written to her on any issue even though they are always sending letters to my house and sending people there.
“If President Muhammadu Buhari wants to deal with me why doesn’t he face me like a man instead of trying to harm and hurt my eight-month-old son and wife.
“Had it not been for the intervention of Fayose, they would have been taken away and subjected to all manner of harm and indignities simply because she is married to me.
“This is Buhari’s Nigeria and we will resist his wickedness and tyranny.”
Fani-Kayode said he would sue the bank and the EFCC for this “illegal and wicked action.”
“They have no right to do this. If they want to see my wife, all they need to do is to invite her. We have nothing to fear. They do not need to be so primitive and barbaric to people.”