CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

21 February 2014

Nigeria: More Opposition to Sanusi Suspension

Photo: Leadership
Lamido Sanusi

Abuja — THE Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) condemned the suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi, as a clear violation of the law.

According to the centre, the CBN Act (2007) provides for the manner of removal of the governor, or any of the deputies of the bank.

“It should be noted that the Governor of the CBN may only be removed by two-thirds majority of the Senate on the grounds indicated in the Act.

"President Goodluck Jonathan's suspension of the governor clearly violates the CBN Act and exposes the wider ramifications and impunity of corruption currently bedeviling the fiscal responsibility and accountability of this government,” Clement Nwankwo, Executive Director of the PLAC, said.

Nwankwo said the centre notes that the reasons proffered for the sack or suspension of the CBN governor could have been grounds for presentation to vote by the Senate, which the body legally empowered to act and who upon examination of the grounds will decided whether to remove him or not.

“In the last several months the CBN governor has brought to public attention the monumental levels of corruption in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation amounting to more than 20 billion dollars of unaccounted funds, the depletion of Nigeria's foreign reserves to new lows and escalating debt profile of the country.

"In sacking the CBN Governor, we are concerned that this may not be unconnected with allegations of corruption made by Sanusi against the government and its officials.

"Nigerians had expected that rather than target the CBN governor for removal the President would confront the individuals and institutions mentioned and accused of corruption in the NNPC, Budget office and Ministry of Finance,” Nwankwo said.

Nwankwo added that Sanusi's sack indicated the government's complicity with the extreme levels of corruption in the country and the impunity of it.

He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to act on the allegations that several billions of dollars of revenue due to the country had been misappropriated by officials of the NNPC and on the continued failure of the Ministry of Finance to properly supervise the nation's financial system.

“We condemn the illegal removal from office of CBN governor Sanusi, and calls on the Senate to reaffirm its power of confirmation and removal of the CBN governor as contained in the CBN Act and reverse the presidential directive.”

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