The Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission on Monday detained Mrs. Precious Fani-Kayode, who is the wife of a
former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, in Ado Ekiti for hours.

Precious, who was a guest of
Governor Ayodele Fayose, had gone to a branch of Access Bank in Ado Ekiti
around 3pm 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 instructions of the EFCC.

Precious, 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 Fayose,
who led scores of supporters to the bank around 7pm to secure her release.

Speaking with our correspondent
after the incident, Mrs. Fani-Kayode lamented that she was badly treated by the
officials while her baby was denied food.

She stated, “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 instructions of the EFCC.

“They told me the 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 bank accounts which they have not opened till today and I have been waiting
for them to invite me, but 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 do
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 becoming lawless and reckless against Nigerians.

He asked the commission to prepare
for a stiff resistance if it did not stop “persecuting” him and his friends.

Fayose added, “They can’t try that
nonsense in my state. If they try it, there will be a showdown. They are
over-stepping their boundary. This is a country that operates a constitution.
What kind of molestation is this, taking 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. If it fails
to do that, I’m done with them. This is lawlessness.”

In a telephone interview with our
correspondent, Femi Fani-Kayode, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party,
urged the government to leave his family members alone and face him.

Fani-Kayode stated, “This
government is sick and cowardly and so is 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, Governor 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 questions
about her transactions and neither has it written to her on any issue even
though it is always sending letters to my house and sending people there.

“If 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 Governor Ayo Fayose, they would have taken them away and
subjected them to all manner of harm and indignity simply because she is
married to me.

“This is Buhari’s Nigeria and we
will resist his wickedness and tyranny.”

Fani-Kayode said he intended to sue
the bank and the EFCC for this “illegal and wicked action.”

He added, “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.

“In an attempt to starve and harass
me and my family, all my accounts and wife’s accounts have been frozen.

“Now, they are resorting to
arresting people’s wives and children for no just cause.”

In its reaction, the EFCC denied
detaining Fani-Kayode’s wife and the son.

In a statement by the commission’s
spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday night, the anti-graft agency said the
ex-minister’s wife attempted to withdraw money from an account which the agency
had frozen.

The statement read in part,
“Contrary to the spin about the purported arrest of mother and child, a certain
Chikwendu Sonia today attempted to withdraw money from an Access Bank account
that had been placed on ‘Post No Debit’ Category, following the discovery of
illicit cash flows into the account.

“She was intercepted by the bank
while the commission was notified, but because it was late, the EFCC advised
that the suspect be taken to the police station for processing and release on
bail.

“They were arranging to take the
suspect to the police station when Governor Ayo Fayose stormed the bank with
thugs and his personal security and forcefully secured the release of the
suspect, with claims that the EFCC had no power to detain anybody in his state.
He also vowed to close down the branch of the bank.

“The said account, which had a
balance of N2,307,712.82, was flagged following investigation into the PDP
Joint Trust Fund when the commission traced N1.1bn to the Zenith Bank account
of Fani-Kayode.

“It was discovered that the account
had two biometric identification numbers, one for Fani-Kayode and the other
(with BVN 2205597283) for Sonia Chikwendu. The same BVN is linked to two other
accounts in Diamond Bank and 15 accounts in Guaranty Trust Bank.”

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