Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has ordered the state to stop transacting business with Zenith Bank.
The action is not unconnected with the face-off between him and Zenith on the freezing of his personal accounts domicilled in thebank by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to a circular from the Office of the Accountant General on Tuesday, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must comply with the order within 48 hours.
The circular was addressed to the head of Service, permanent secretaries, general managers, administrative secretaries, heads of Non-Ministerial Departments and agencies and tertiary institutions.
The MDAs and institutions have begun implementation of the order to meet up with the deadline.
The circular, which was signed by the Accountant General, Mrs. O.O. Owolabi, is titled: “Stoppage of banking relationship with the Zenith Bank Plc.”
It reads: “The state government has directed immediate stoppage of all banking relationships with Zenith Bank.
“All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are expected to adhere strictly to this instruction and sever transaction with the bank within 48 hours.
“By extension, workers’ salaries cease to be remitted to salary accounts domicilled with the bank forthwith. They are, therefore, advised to supply alternative bank accounts with their respective MDAs for transmission to this office within 60 days.
“Kindly, give the contents of this circular the widest publicity it deserves. The governor is poised to address the state on the matter in due course. Thank you.”
The fear of job loss has gripped Ekiti indigenes working in the bank, especially the main Ado-Ekiti branch on Secretariat Road and the campus branch at Ekiti State University (EKSU).
The workers are apprehensive of a repeat of the backlash of Fayose’s strained relationship with Ecobank, which led to the shutdown of the bank’s two branches.
Ecobank sacked scores of Ekiti indigenes following the government’s crackdown, and closed its operations.
The EFCC on May 24 froze two Zenith Bank accounts belonging to Fayose for alleged laundering of about N1.2 billion believed to be part of the arms fund from the ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)
The cash was allegedly released to the governor to fund his campaign in the 2014 governorship election.
Fayose claimed Zenith Bank funded his campaign but the bank denied the allegation.
The governor sued the EFCC and the bank at the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, seeking an order to de-freeze the account, which the court declined.
The matter was adjourned till September 30.