Barely 24 hours after the suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, President Goodluck Jonathan’s silence on the fate of the Deputy Governors of the bank was faulted yesterday by some top officials of the administration.
The report of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, upon which Sanusi was suspended, had recommended that the CBN Governor and his deputies should leave office.
It was also learnt that the State Security Service (SSS) has returned Sanusi’s passport.
The passport was allegedly seized in what a source described as a “routine” security check at the airport in Lagos.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that many government officials are wondering why Sanusi was singled out for suspension
A part of the report said the President should “exercise the powers conferred on him by Section 11 (2) (f) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 or invoke Section 11 (2) (c) of the said Act and cause the Governor and the Deputy Governors to cease from holding office in the CBN and also direct the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria to carry out a full investigation of the activities of the CBN…”
A reliable source said: “There has been agitation for the President to implement the report in full instead of isolating Sanusi for sanction.
“The Financial Reporting Council was explicit in its recommendations. Stakeholders even in CBN are worried that the Deputy Governors were spared by the President.
“Going by the workings of the CBN, there was no way Sanusi could have acted alone. What was the role of the management in all these findings by the FRCN?”
Another source said: “I think the government should not give us only a side of the FRCN’ report; it is about indictment of the CBN as a body. Let them tell us what they are doing about others.
“Does it mean Sanusi was in charge of all units, procurements and supplies? Don’t we have Deputy Governors and Directors overseeing some of these contracts or projects awarded by CBN? Could Sanusi alone have initiated all these projects?
“What was the role of the Board of the CBN in all the findings of the FRCN? I think there are many questions unanswered before Sanusi was hastily suspended.”
There were indications yesterday that the State Security Service (SSS) might have returned Sanusi’s passport to him.
A security source said: “I am aware that security operatives only went through his passport and it has been returned to him.”
But a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, tweeted last night that he “just learnt that the SSS has obtained an arrest warrant that discloses no criminal offence to detain and gag Sanusi.
The security source however said: “I do no think we have obtained a warrant to arrest Sanusi. As at 6pm when I left office, I had no knowledge of a warrant.”
El-Rufai has explained why he would stand by the suspended Governor of CBN.
The ex-Minister, who made his position known on Sanusi’s suspension in some tweets, said: “Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is my friend and brother since 1977. An injustice to him is an attack on me as well. I will be on his side through this and beyond.
“First the gangsters illegally removed Justice Isa Ayo Salami. Then they tried to impeach Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Now they unlawfully suspended Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Who is next?
“The Jonathanians are not bothered about the law or bound by reason; they just want to stay in power at all cost.”