3 July 2014

Nigeria: Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, Drops Court Case Against Jonathan

Governor Lamido Sanusi.

The Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Lamido Sanusi, has dropped the suit against the federal government challenging his suspension from office.

This development confirms this newspaper's June 13 report which indicated the Emir was planning to discontinue his legal battle with the President after both men had reconciliatory telephone conversation.

President Goodluck Jonathan had on February 20 suspended Mr. Sanusi from his position as governor of the CBN over allegations of financial recklessness.

In the Notice of Discontinuance dated July 1, 2014, and filed same day, Mr. Sanusi's lawyers informed the court of his intention to discontinue the matter.

Mr. Sanusi had sued the federal government at a Federal High Court in Abuja challenging his suspension.

Joined in the suit as defendants were President Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney

General of the Federation, and the Inspector General of Police.

In their counter affidavit, the defendants had argued that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction in the matter since it was a labour-related suit that fell under the purview of the National Industrial Court.

In his ruling, Justice Gabriel Kolawole upheld the submissions of the counsel to the President, Fabian Ajogwu, and that of the Counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mike Ozekhome.

Rather than dismiss the case outright, the court instead invoked section 24 of the National Industrial Court Act 2012 and ordered that the case be transferred to the National Industrial Court since the issues raised bothered on labour matters.

In transferring the case, Justice Kolawole said that in line with sections 251 and 254 of the 1999 constitution, the CBN was a creation of the National Assembly, and Mr. Sanusi was a public officer.

The Judge further held that since Mr. Sanusi was an employee of the CBN by virtue of the CBN Act No 7 of 2007, he was a public servant whose appointment was a labour related matter that could be properly adjudicated upon by the industrial court.

Mr. Sanusi's decision to withdraw the case comes after months of deep animosity between him and President Goodluck Jonathan.

After he emerged the Emir of Kano, he asked the President for forgiveness so he could gain access to his palace which was blocked by police.

Even though the police denied that the president ordered the blockade, sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the siege was authorised by the president.

Mr. Sanusi, multiple sources told PREMIUM TIMES, apologised to President Jonathan, personally and through intermediaries, to forgive him for his public defiance.


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