- As Ekiti Lawmakers rebel against governor over official cars
Last Thursday’s, withdrawal of N5m by Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose purportedly from his frozen accounts by the EFCC, has allegedly landed the Manager of Zenith Bank Ado Ekiti branch in trouble with his bank’s headquarters.
The headquarter viewed the manager’s act as insubordination and acting in breach of lawful procedure in freeing an account under security watch. National Daily has gathered.
The bank Manager National Daily learnt was subjected to interrogation at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja for 5 hours on Friday, but was left off the hook.
But sources in the know of the development lamented the fact that the bank has suddenly denied the branch manager who was said to have gotten the go ahead of his superiors at the head office before unfreezing the account and allowing the governor make withdrawal.
According to our sources, the top management of the Zenith bank is now trying to hide behind a finger when it is obvious that they were in the know of the actions of the branch manager.
Fayose stormed Zenith Bank in a well-publicised siege in desperate bid to withdraw money from his frozen accounts following a judgement by the Federal High Court ordering immediate lift of ban on his accounts.
Fayose caused a stir at the bank, making a three-hour sit-in to force the bank officials to allow him withdraw money from his accounts.
Explanations by the bank officials to the governor on the impossibility of such prospect made little or no impact, as he insisted on withdrawing money from his accounts following a judgment by Justice Taiwo Taiwo.
As Fayose became unruly in the banking hall, bank officials found themselves in a dilemma, as they could neither call him to order nor ask security officials to enforce order.
To save the situation, N5m was withdrawn for Fayose from a special operational account called “Suspense Account” in the banking system, pending order from the headquarters to enforce compliance with the court judgement.
Pronto, Fayose called the media, displayed the cash enclosed in cellophane bags, castigating the EFCC and boasting that he would continue in his crusade to make President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration obey the nation’s law.
As information spread on social media about Fayose’s bravery, Zenith Bank headquarters was preparing a query for the Ado-Ekiti Bank Manager that could cost him his job for acting against banking law.
The headquarters reminded the bank manager that court orders in such matters are always sent to the headquarters before the latter acts to direct the branch concerned for further action following advice by the Legal Department of the bank at the headquarters.
But the bank manager explained that the money paid to Fayose was not from his frozen accounts but from “suspense account” to ward off nuisance that the governor had constituted himself a nuisance in the banking hall. He added that since the bank has been served a notice of appeal, Fayose’s account remains frozen.
Unfortunately, that explanation, according to sources, made little impression to the headquarters as Fayose had already created an impression that Zenith Bank is an accomplice in protecting suspected criminals under security watch.
Out of the N5m that was paid to Fayose, the governor gave out N500,000 to the bank officials “for lunch”. But after Fayose left, the money (N500,000) was deposited in the same “Suspense Account” to avoid trouble that could arise from Fayose’s blackmail.
Even as the bank manager lives in fear of the unknown over Fayose’s unruly conduct, the governor is facing a rebellion by his “boys” in the House of Assembly over discovery that the governor has been taking them for a ride in his selfish cornering of the state resources to enjoy himself while they suffer.
Assembly sources told National Daily that the House of Assembly members had suddenly rediscovered themselves after it was plain to them that they were being deceived by the governor that the state was broke.
According to the sources, the members just realised that the governor’s standard of living did not reflect the picture of the economy the governor was painting since they assumed office.
Leading the rebellion is Speaker Kola Oluwawole, who in conjunction with other members, wrote a letter jointly signed by members and sent it to a shocked governor, demanding for their right.
Conspicuously missing on the list of protesting lawmakers is Hon Samuel Omotoso from Oye Local Government, who refused to sign the letter. National Daily gathered.
Fayose made frantic efforts to get the lawmakers on phone without success, forcing a visibly worried governor alleging that the lawmakers had compromised, working with opposition to get at him.
As an interim measure to seek new friends and alliances, Fayose has reached out to the man he forced out of the House of Assembly in an almost a year suspension, Hon Gboyega Aribisogan, to weather the storm of hostility created by his erstwhile footsoldiers.