News / Africa

    Nigeria's Cenbank Governor to Challenge Suspension in Court

    FILE - Nigeria's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi gestures during an interview with Reuters in London.
    FILE - Nigeria's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi gestures during an interview with Reuters in London.
    Reuters
    Nigeria's graft-fighting Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said on Friday he would go to court to challenge his suspension by the president, saying he did not want his job back but wanted to question the legality of the move.
     
    President Goodluck Jonathan suspended Sanusi on Thursday, removing an increasingly outspoken critic of the government's record on tackling rampant corruption in Africa's top oil producer.
     
    Since the suspension, presidential spokesman Reuben Abati has listed alleged procurement irregularities at the central bank during Sanusi's tenure, most of them dating back to 2011.
     
    Sanusi told Reuters in a phone interview that he had already been in correspondence about queries concerning the bank's budget, and that he had been through all the processes outlined by the bureau of public procurement.
     
    “I'm going to court to challenge the suspension,” he said. “I'm concerned about the precedent... I'm concerned about the idea that if you want to remove someone and you want a way around the law, you just write any kind of letter with all sorts of funny allegations and suspend the person.”
     
    But he added he had no intention of retaking the post.
     
    Sanusi, who was due to end his term in June, had been presenting evidence to parliament that he said showed the state oil company Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to remit $20 billion that it owed to federal government coffers. NNPC has repeatedly denied Sanusi's allegations.
     
    “I'm not going back. I have had my last day at work. I'm very glad to hand this over,” he said.
     
    Markets panicked over the suspension of a man whose policies are credited with stabilizing the naira and bringing inflation in Africa's second biggest economy to single digits.
     
    The naira fell one percent against the dollar on Friday, although it has not moved since the central bank said it hoped to keep it within its current band of 150-160 to the dollar.
     
    Longer term, it is unclear whether investors will be put off Nigeria, whose governance problems are balanced on the positive side by attractive prospects, including abundant energy reserves, a potentially huge consumer market and a fast-growing economy.
     
    Sanusi said he never intended to be an anti-corruption crusader, but had been alarmed by the sheer extent of losses to the treasury by corruption at the state oil firm.
     
    “I'm trying to get to the heart of collapsing oil revenues,” he said.
     
    “My primary motive ... is that oil prices have not come down, oil output has not come down, [but] oil revenues are crashing, and therefore my job as central bank governor in managing the exchange rate and reserves is threatened.”
     
    Some commentators, including twice president and former Jonathan mentor Olusegun Obasanjo, have said oil corruption now is worse than at any time since the end of military rule in 1999, a charge Jonathan dismisses as politically motivated.
     
    “I haven't compared it to any other [presidential] terms, but I've certainly been alarmed by what I've seen,” Sanusi said.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: PETER OLUNIYI from: Lagos
    February 23, 2014 10:37 AM
    It is now very obvious that President Goodluck Johnathan is not only encouraging corruption but also promoting it. By suspending the Central Bank governor, he is telling every Nigeria to be corrupt.

    by: Anuoluwapo Oladipo from: Nigeria
    February 22, 2014 7:24 AM
    If Sanusi wants to be hot, he should be hot, If Sanusi wanted to be cold he should be cold.
    You cannot mix both and not be spewed out. There is corruption in NNPC no doubt about that and likewise there is corruption in Central Bank. It is a case of kettle calling pot black.
    The way and manner he went about destroying Oceanic Bank, Intercontinental bank etc shows personal vendetta. That is why those banks were either acquired or nationalized without following due process. Sanusi weakened those banks further by appointing cronies as CEO's who destroyed those banks by granting undue waivers.
    The man must answer for his sins and those friends he appointed as CEO's to those banks that went under must be charged to court. The unjust write-offs granted to their friends to the tune of billions of naira must also be revisited and reversed. I admonished the erstwhile sacked CEO's to approach the law courts and tender the state in which they left those banks before Sanusi's illegal intervention which was not backed by any law at that time.
    I also admonish all ordinary shareholders who lost fortunes to seek a medium to challenge the atrocities committed by Sanusi Lamido led Central Bank in the court of law.
    Secondly the mismanagement or should I say the taking undue advantage of loop holes in the CBN act makes Sanusi an immoral man. How on earth can someone justify spending over one billion naira to feed police officers attached to CBN and private guards. This is rather absurd and can only be nothing except corruption. What is the justification behind doling out money to boko aram victims in Kano without appropriation, investing Nigerian tax payers money in an Islamic Bank in Malaysia, Flying and distributing currency all over Nigeria using frivolous Airlines that probably Sanusi has interest in among others.
    How can a man given the mandate to manage Nigeria's Central Bank not be accountable by being corrupt? Those useless awards that Central Bank was buying at ridiculous amount of naira only portraits inferiority complex.
    While there is the urgent need to sanitize the NNPC, there is also an equal need to sanitize the Central Bank and put upright unbiased people at the helm of affairs.
    I make bold to say that in other for the Federal Government of Nigeria not to be seen as partisan, the following ministers and directors must also be shown the way out of government;
    (i) Minister for Petroleum.
    (ii) NNPC Managing Director
    (iii) Finance Minister.

    by: Gabriel Umoh from: Port Harcourt
    February 21, 2014 4:01 PM
    The allegations against Mr. Sanusi are indeed grave and we await the outcome of the investigations. His dabbling into political issues and anti government utterances has not helped his cause. As reported, he was openly hobnobbing with opposition party members and doling out huge questionable donations and contracts without due process. To cap it, he virtually thumbed his nose at the President and dared to be fired. Now he got his wish.

    by: Ajakayi Ija
    February 21, 2014 11:27 AM
    It is shocking indeed that Nigeria's president Jonathan failed to order an investigation into the allegation by the Central Bank governor. Twenty billion dollars is about a fifth of the country's annual oil revenue.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.