Hundreds of customers were stranded on Tuesday as Imo State Government sealed commercial banks operating in Owerri, the state capital.
Most banks were shut on Monday apparently in compliance with the sit-at-home directive issued by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
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On Tuesday, most of the banks in Owerri were under lock and key, preventing customers to carry out financial transactions.
Some staff members, who spoke to our correspondent, said that officials of Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) sealed the banks.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the banks were sealed for staying off work on Monday against the state government’s directive warning against compliance with IPOB’s sit-at-home order.
Emelumba said the failure of the affected banks to operate on Monday frustrated the efforts of the government.
He warned that government would henceforth come harder on businesses and organisations that obeyed the sit-at-home ordered by IPOB.
IPOB had declared Monday a work-free day in southeastern states to push for the release of its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu had earlier jumped bail in June 2018 before leaving for the United Kingdom. He said that he fled because his life was no longer safe in Nigeria.
Upon his re-arrest and extradition in June 2021, he was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako for terrorism-related charges and has since been remanded in the DSS custody in Abuja.