Strong indications have emerged that some banks may drag Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodinma and his administration to court for sealing their operational offices in Owerri last Tuesday over the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Although the state government has explained the reason behind its decision to seal the affected banks in Owerri, the state capital, a banker who didn’t want to be mentioned said the governmentovernment has no right to take such action as it was within the powers of the banks to choose when to open for business and when not to open
It would be recalled that many bank customers were left stranded on Tuesday as the officials of the Imo State Government shut all the banks along Bank Road in the state capital.
Governmentovernment officials had placed ribbons on the entrance of the banks with signs warning them against opening to the public.
The action was said to have been carried out by Owerri Capital Development Agency (OCDA).
Among banks sealed are Access, Polaris, First Bank, Eco Bank and United Bank for Africa.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba explained that the state government sealed the banks because they frustrated customers on Monday by refusing to open for transactions, adding that OCDA would determine when the banks would be reopened.
But a Manager with one of the affected banks who spoke to African Community News in Owerri on condition of anonymity said the government’s action was an infringement on the operational rights of the affected banks.
He said- “It is not only wrong for the governmentovernment to seal the banks but was a breach of operational rights of the banks for which they may have to seek legal redress.
“If you recall, many institutions have in the past been attacked and destroyed by supporters of IPOB for opening up businesses on the day’s the organization declared as sit-at-home with governmentovernment failing to protect them or pay conpsensation.
It would therefore be risky for bank staff to leave their homes on monday in the name of going to work, knowing they may be attacked or killed on the way. The governmentovernment is just grandstanding or insensitive to the reality on ground,” he said.