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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora