A former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Federal Government to leave his family alone and face him.
Fani-Kayode said this in reaction to the detention of his wife, Precious, at a bank in Ado Ekiti for hours on the instruction of the EFCC.
Fani-Kayode, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, condemned the move in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents.
He said, “This government is sick and cowardly and so is the EFCC.
“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.”
Mrs. Fani-Kayode, who was a guest of Governor Ayodele Fayose, had gone to a branch of Access Bank in Ado Ekiti around 3pm for a transaction, but was detained by officials of the bank.
The bank officials told her she was being held on the instructions of the EFCC.
The EFCC, however, denied detaining her.
In a statement by its 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.”