Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose yesterday stormed the Ado-Ekiti Branch of Zenith Bank to withdraw cash from his accounts.
Fayose, who arrived at the bank’s premises on Onigari-Secretariat Road junction at 1.20 pm, was there for about two hours before emerging with two black bags, containing N5 million he withdrew from the accounts.
He served the branch manager, Mojeed Adekunle, the copies of a judgment which ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the bank to de-freeze the accounts.
Adekunle told the governor that his bank had received a copy of the judgment and would obey it. The processing of the cash began after Fayose submitted a cheque.
A large crowd of residents milled around the bank. Some customers were temporarily denied entry by the bank’s security officials.
Fayose’s Chief Security Officer Gbenga Joseph engaged one of the bank’s guards in a shouting match for attempting to deny him entry when his principal was inside.
The guard left his duty post for Joseph in protest. Mobile and regular policemen, outriders and reporters who accompanied Fayose stood outside the bank. Their presence attracted a crowd.
The governor was in the bank till 3.20 pm. Speaking with reporters after the tranasction, Fayose accused the EFCC of “rascality”.
“I came to the bank after serving them with the court order and I made up my mind that I won’t leave the bank until my money is given to me. And the bank has done the needful by giving me part of the money confirming that they have obeyed the court order.
“I want to thank Nigerians and my supporters for believing in our cause that Nigerians should not be oppressed. The rascality of EFCC must stop. And I want to thank the EFCC for obeying the court order.
“They placed order on two accounts, one has N82 million, the other N300 million. I have collected N5 million now. I’m not closing the accounts but if they ‘attack’ my accounts again, I will make trouble with them, big trouble.
“If EFCC is appealing the judgment that is its funeral. As a sitting governor my immunity is absolute just like that of the President. They should tell EFCC to shut up. There is no authority other than the authority of the Constitution which I enjoy.
“Rubbishing the office of the governor is the same as rubbishing that of the President because after the President, governors are the next. It is their time now, another person’s time will come tomorrow. There is no place for dictatorship in Nigeria.”
Fayose’s accounts were on June 20 frozen by the EFCC, following an exparte order by Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos on the allegation that they contained “proceeds of crime”.