President Goodluck Jonathan today ordered the suspension of Nigeria's Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, weeks after the CBN Governor exposed the theft of at least $20 billion by officials of Nigerian petroleum ministry.
A press release issued by the spokesperson to the President, Reuben Abati explained that the CBN governor was suspended because of reports by the Financial Reporting Council claiming the CBN governor had engaged in "financial recklessness and misconduct". The release did not specifically name any particular financial crime but goes ahead to announce a replacement for Mr. Sanusi.
SaharaReporters could not reach the CBN governor who is currently traveling in Niger for his reaction by an aide who spoke on his behalf said he was not aware of his suspension as the President did not communicate his intention to suspend him to the governor.
Mr. Sanusi had recently refused to back down from allegations that the NNPC and the Petroleum minister, Diezani Allsion-Madueke could not account for over $20 billion of crude oil exports carried out by the NNPC.
Below is the text of Mr. Abati's press release announcing President Jonathan's action.
Having taken special notice of reports of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and other investigating bodies, which indicate clearly that Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure has been characterized by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline;
Being also deeply concerned about far-reaching irregularities under Mallam Sanusi’s watch which have distracted the Central Bank away from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate; and
Being determined to urgently re-position the Central Bank of Nigeria for greater efficiency, respect for due process and accountability, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ordered the immediate suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from the Office of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
President Jonathan has further ordered that Mallam Sanusi should hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr Sarah Alade who will serve as Acting Governor until the conclusion of on-going investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the CBN.
The President expects that as Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Alade will focus on the core mandate of the Bank and conduct its affairs with greater professionalism, prudence and propriety to restore domestic and international confidence in the country’s apex bank.
The Federal Government of Nigeria reassures all stakeholders in Nigeria’s financial and monetary system that this decision has been taken in absolute good faith, in the overall interest of the Nigerian economy and in accordance with our laws and due process.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 20, 2014