News / Africa

Nigerian President Defends Suspension of Central Bank Governor

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrives for service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrives for service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
James Butty
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said his suspension of Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi had nothing to do with the governor’s allegations of corruption at the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. 

Sanusi said over $20 billion had disappeared from state oil revenues.

Although Sanusi said he would challenge the legality of his suspension in court, presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said Jonathan has made it clear he has the power to appoint and suspend bank governors.

“President Jonathan made it very clear that what we are dealing with here is a case of suspension, not dismissal.  But, the question that has arisen from that is whether the president has the power to suspend without recourse to the National Assembly. The position expressed by Mr. President is indeed he who appoints also has the power to suspend,” he said.

Abati said Jonathan, during a news conference, also addressed the question of whether Sanusi was suspended over his corruption allegations.

“Indeed, the investigation against him (Sanusi) first started as far back as February, 2013.  As of April 2013, and also by May 4th, he had been given queries to respond to a number of allegations.  His response was then forwarded to the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, which reported back to the federal government alleging many breaches and practically accusing the CB under Sanusi’s watch of fraud, incompetence and of financial recklessness.  And, on the basis of that, the presidency had to ask Mr. Sanusi to step down,” Abati said.

Abati said Sanusi’s claim that over $20 billion is missing from state oil revenues is being investigated by the Nigerian legislature.

He said Jonathan insisted his government would not interfere with an ongoing legislative investigation.

“Indeed, Mr. Sanusi is free and is encouraged to continue to give evidence before the National Assembly.  President Jonathan’s commitment is to integrity and accountability.  And, he has made it very clear that his government is also committed to transparency, both in the extractive sector and particularly in the NNPC,” Abati said.

Abati says the Nigerian government saw a brief jolt in the financial markets as reaction to Sanusi’s suspension, the man considered as having brought some stability to Africa’s second largest economy.

“Immediately after the announcement, as a result of the uncertainty that quite a number of persons read into the development, there was a brief shock in the market. But, the position of government is that this has nothing to do with monetary policy. The Central Bank of Nigeria remains very strong and government is committed to continuing to strengthen it, and there is no need for anxiety about the country’s financial policy,” Abati said.
Butty interview with Abati
Butty interview with Abatii
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 25, 2014 10:39 AM
The question is, why did the president not allow the issue being trashed at the Senate to be settled before using the sack/suspension to scuttle the investigation? The president has proved to be the head of the corruption in the country. By this singular act of obstructing justice and getting in the way of punishing corruption, the president has shown that all other issues of corruption, including his inactivity to find, indict or prosecute boko haram and their mentors, are his brain child for milking the country dry. If the president means any good to the country, he should reinstate Sanusi - the Central Bank governor - and allow him and the Senate to finish the business of finding where the $20billion oil money was laundered, before sacking or suspending him. If Nigeria votes, and that is in 2015, Jonathan will not smell a vote from Nigerians whom he has impoverished through the corruption in the country's main foreign exchange earner - the oil industry. If anything, the president has by this action proved to Nigerians public enemy number one.
In Response

by: patrick derrick from: rome italy
February 26, 2014 12:10 PM
the bigger qestion here is,why does he took mallam sanusi so long to provide the necessary documentation as the head of the establisment.and,as far as am concern what Leeds to mallam sanusi sorpension was lack of failure to provide the necessary evidence in which the investigation comittee & the president goodluck has been waiting for since,he was appointed as the cbn governor.but,notwithstanding, the president has made it clear in his public interview,that,he who hires,also, has power to remove.according, to the section 12 of the law of central bank of nigeria.and,moreover,he declear also,that,mallam sanusi free & he every right to come forward with his evidence if he has any.and,what the president accused him of is(MISCONDUCT) of power, in which he can't prove!!!!!!!!!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs