Following an order given by Governor Ayo Fayose that the state government and all its agencies should stop business relationship with Zenith Bank, former House of Representatives member Bamidele Faparusi has called for the intervention of the Nigerian Bankers’ Committee.
Faparusi said the intervention of the Bankers’ Committee became necessary to “protect the banks from the whims and caprices of power mongers bent on circumventing banking rules, regulations and procedures for personal gains and political brinkmanship.”
The former federal lawmaker urged the Bankers’ Committee to order banks operating in the state to withdraw their services with Ekiti State government because of what he called “unfriendly and unfavorable business climate” imposed on them.
The governor’s action is believed to be in retaliation against the freezing of his accounts at Zenith Bank by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the bank’s denial of sponsoring his campaign in the 2014 governorship election.
Faparusi who spoke with reporters in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, on Thursday counselled the governor against running the business of government like his personal estate saying: “no single individual can justify attempt to cripple an institution that provides employment for the teeming Nigerians over personal issue with the EFCC.”
While noting that part of responsibilities of the Banking Committee is to safeguard the financial regulation of the country against unnecessary abuses and circumvention by unscrupulous elements, Faparusi regretted that the order was an attempt to stifle the banking industry and make the system porous to unbridled corruption.
The former Lawmaker said it was saddening that Fayose did not consider what would be the backlash of his action as experienced during the state’s face off with Eco Bank, when several Ekiti indigenes on the employ of the industry were sacked .
The anti-graft agency on May 24 froze two Zenith Bank accounts of Fayose for allegedly being used for laundering about N1.2 billion cash believed to be part of arms funds from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to fund his2014 governorship campaign.
Subsequently, Fayose dragged the EFCC and the bank to the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti seeking an order of the bank to de-freeze the account which the court declined.
The case has been adjourned to September 30.