24 March 2014

Nigeria: FRC Invites Sanusi, Alade, Moghalu, Akingbola, 11 Others for Questioning

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) will on Wednesday and Thursday grill the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; the acting Governor of the CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade; the former Managing Director/CEO of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Mr. Erastus Akingbola; and 13 others. The questioning will be in line with the ongoing investigation into the financial accounts of the central bank for the financial years ending December 31, 2011 and 2012.

While Sanusi and eight others are expected to appear at the interrogation to be held at the FRC head office in Lagos on Thursday at 11 am, Akingbola and five others would appear at the same time on Wednesday.

The FRC, in a statement obtained by THISDAY yesterday, also revealed that others to be questioned at the Thursday session are the immediate past Deputy Governor, Operations of the CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo; Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms Evelyn Oputu; Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu; Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, CBN, Alhaji Suleiman Barau; Mr. Babatunde Dayo; Mr. Gabriel Okpeh and Mr. Ezekiel Ejedele.

During the first session to be held on Wednesday, others to appear alongside Akingbola are the former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Security, Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), Mr. Ehi' E Okoyomon, who was relieved of his appointment by Sanusi; Alhaji Ahmed Barmali; Mr. Igho Dafinone; the immediate past Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede; and his successor, Mr. Herbert Wigwe.

The FRC statement added: "We wish to inform the underlisted persons that the FRC is currently investigating the activities of the CBN for financial years ended December 31, 2011 and 2012.

"This investigation includes related matters arising from transactions and events which impacted on the said 2011 and 2012 from earlier years and have implications for later periods."

It said letters had earlier been sent to those concerned. Following his revelation that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to remit oil revenue to the Federation Account, the presidency, last month, had suspended Sanusi ostensibly on the grounds of financial recklessness, breach of the Public Procurement Act, unlawful expenditure by the central bank on "intervention projects" across the country, and misstatement of the CBN 2012 financial results, among other charges.

But in his defence, Sanusi, in a 27-page memo to the president, had described the allegations against the CBN under his leadership as false, unfounded, malicious and fabricated, saying they were designed to mislead the president into believing that the management of the central bank was guilty of misconduct and recklessness. He had also asked the president to revisit his suspension.


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