By John Ikani
The Imo State Government on Tuesday ordered the closure of all banks on Bank Road in Owerri, the state capital, leaving hundreds of bank customers stranded.
Some of the affected banks, situated on Bank Road, include Access Bank, Polaris Bank, First Bank, Eco Bank, Heritage Bank, and United Bank for Africa.
Sequel to this, all the banks on Assumpta Avenue popularly known as Bank Road, had a sticker with the seal of Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) and a red tape, except Zenith Bank which is undergoing reconstruction.
The OCDA sticker pasted on the entrance door of the banks had the following inscriptions: ‘Sealed! Signed: General Manager; No building approval; removal of this sticker without approval from the office will attract a fine of N500,000’.
All the banks in the state had closed for five consecutive Mondays following the sit-at-home declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a protest against its leader Nnamdi Kanu, being detained by the federal government.
Though IPOB had suspended the sit-at-home order, banks, schools, markets, and business outfits in the state had continued to shut down on Mondays as a precautionary measure.
Explaining reasons behind the development to newsmen, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba said the state government sealed the banks because they frustrated customers on Monday by refusing to open for transactions.
Asked when the government would unseal the banks, Emelumba said it was left for OCDA and the banks to determine.