20 February 2014

Nigeria: Suspended CBN Governor, Sanusi, Away On Official Assignment - May Be Arrested On Arrival

Reserve Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi.

Nigeria's Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who has just been suspended with immediate effect by President Goodluck Jonathan, has been away on official assignment to Niger and might be arrested on arrival at the airport, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

Usually reliable security sources say there are already plans to arrest Mr. Sanusi, when he arrives back at the airport in Abuja, in a bid to stop him from contesting or challenging the presidential directive to stay away from his office.

The governor was suspended in absentia, while attending a three-day meeting of the West African Central Bank Governors.

Our sources say the embattled governor has been hinted by administration insiders, and has now changed his travel plans.

He will now land in Lagos instead of Abuja.

In Lagos, Mr. Sanusi's associates and friends, led by a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai, are organising to receive him at the airport and block any attempt to arrest him.

Our sources at the Central Bank said Mr. Sanusi is also in company of other Central Bank Officials, including Sarah Alade, the highest ranking Deputy Governor of the regulatory body, whom the president ordered he hands over to.

The Nigeria police as well as well as the Department of State Services, DSS, are yet to comment on the plans to arrest Mr. Sanusi.

The spokesperson of the police, Frank Mba, is said to be in a meeting when our reporter called his office while Marilyn Ogar of the DSS said she was keeping a doctor's appointment.

Earlier today, the President ordered the immediate suspension of Mr. Sanusi from office, saying his tenure had been characterized by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct inconsistent with the administration's vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline.

However, many Nigerians believe the CBN governor was axed because he exposed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as an harbinger of corruption and financial mismanagement, diverting huge federal revenues accruing to the nation from the sale of crude oil.

Mr. Sanusi says as much as $20 billion oil money is missing.

The President, in a statement by Reuben Abati, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, ordered the Central Bank governor to hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor of the bank, Mrs. Alade who will serve as Acting Governor until the conclusion of ongoing investigations into alleged breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the Central Bank.

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