Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2014

Nigeria: Sanusi Sues Jonathan Over Suspension

Suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has dragged President Goodluck Jonathan before a Federal High Court in Abuja over his suspension from office.

Sanusi was suspended by Jonathan last Thursday over alleged involvement in financial recklessness.

In the suit, the suspended apex bank boss is urging the court to restrain the president, the attorney-general of the federation and the inspector-general of police from giving effect to his purported suspension from office as the governor of the CBN, pending the determination of his suit.

He also asked the court to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from obstructing, disturbing, stopping or preventing him, in any manner whatsoever, from performing the functions of his office as the CBN governor and enjoying in full the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office.

One of the lead lawyers to Sanusi, Chief Kola Awodein (SAN), told the court that his interlocutory application is necessary because of the issues raised in the suit and that delay may likely entail irreparable and serious damage and mischief on him in the exercise of his statutory duties as the CBN governor.

He urged the court to exercise its discretion in his favour by granting the interlocutory injunctions, as the president’s continuing unlawful interference with the management and administration of the apex bank, unless arrested, poses grave danger for Nigeria’s economy and justifies the court granting his application which will result in maintaining the status quo ante bellum, that is, for his return to his office as the governor of the CBN.

In the affidavit deposed in support of his application, the suspended CBN boss averred that, in the course of his duties as the CBN governor, he discovered certain discrepancies in respect of amounts repatriated to the federation account from the proceeds of crude oil sales between the period of January 2012 and July 2013 and that he expressed concern in respect of the said discrepancies and had cause to inform the National Assembly of the said discrepancies because they affect the revenue of the federation and the national economy.

He further stated that the actions of President Jonathan, in purporting to suspend him from office, are aimed at punishing him for these disclosures.

He also stated that he is challenging the president’s power to suspend him from office, noting that the president did not approach nor obtain the support of the Senate, based on his discussions with several senators including Senator Bukola Saraki.

“I have been informed, and I verily believe the information given to me by Senator Bukola Saraki to be true and correct, that the Senate did not give the president any support for my purported suspension and removal from office as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

Sanusi further stated that the actions of the president in suspending him from office is contrary to the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act relating to the appointment and removal of the CBN governor and that his purported suspension amounts to unlawful interference in the administration and management of the apex bank and is illegal, null and void. He urged the court to, in the interest of justice, grant his reliefs.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit while the matter, which was filed yesterday afternoon, is yet to be assigned to a judge.

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