The wife of former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode, Precious Chikwendu, has tackled the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over her detention on Monday in an Ado-Ekiti branch of Access Bank allegedly on the orders of the commission. She accuses the EFCC of lying by its claim that there was a balance of about N2.4miilion in the bank account from where she wanted to draw some money before her ordeal.
In a statement today (Tuesday), Precious insisted there was less than N300, 000 in the account at the time it was frozen. She attached a screenshot of her bank transactions in her release.
The former minister’s wife was allegedly detained for close to four hours on Monday, along with her eight-month-old baby, when she visited the bank in Ekiti State capital for some transactions. It took the direct intervention of Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose to secure her release from the bank after mobilizing policemen and thugs to the bank. The Governor subsequently shut down the bank, today Access Bank officials speaking with SaharaReporters said the branch remains closed as ordered by the governor.
Yesterday in an attempt to debunk her arrest story, the EFCC claimed that she tried to withdraw money from an account that had ben placed on ‘Post No Debit’ following the discovery of illicit cash flows into the account. The anti-graft body added that the account had a balance of N2, 307,712.82 that was flagged as part of investigation into the Peoples Democratic Party 2015 campaign slush fund.
But in a statement on Tuesday by her aide, Precious insisted the said account is personal and had no link whatsoever with corporate interests. Her statement reads in part: “The assertion (by EFCC) that Precious Chikwendu's Access Bank account was used to launder (former President Goodluck) Jonathan’s campaign funds or funds from the National Security Adviser’s Office, and that approximately 2.4 million naira balance was found in the said account at the time of her arrest is a lie from the pit of hell.
“The said account was opened in 2005 at Onitsha when Precious Chikwendu was about to start at the University of Calabar. At that time it was not known as Access Bank but Intercontinental Bank. The account was used by her from 2005 till 2012 when it was abandoned and went dormant. It was not utilised or activated again until August 2016 when small deposits of between N200,000 and N500,000 were made into it, and the total amount that entered into that account over a period of 2 months was approximately N4 million naira.
“The money was spent on looking after the family, paying staff salaries and to buy groceries. Consequently at the time that the account was frozen last Friday, the amount that was left in it was N95, 000. She was not notified about the freezing of the account until someone paid N200, 000 into it on Saturday. The money entered the account, but after that it could not be accessed.
“She decided to stop at the bank on her way out of Ado Ekiti on Monday in order to know what was going on, and she was then detained and offered to the police and EFCC, together with her 8-month-old son, Aragorn, for arrest.”
Precious Chikwendu accused the EFCC of witchunt, denying the account had any link with NSA funds. She said: “The Presidential campaign took place in 2015 and at that time the account was dormant. At the time that she abandoned and stopped using the account in 2012, Precious Chikwendu had not even met Chief Fani-Kayode.
“The only reason that Precious Chikwendu's bank accounts were frozen and she was subjected to such inhuman treatment is because she is married to Chief
Femi Fani-Kayode, who is a politician and a leading member of the opposition. They wanted to punish her and their 8-month-old son, Aragorn, just to hurt and spite Chief Fani-Kayode.”