Suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido, on Thursday accused the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) of bias and bad faith in its bid to investigate him.
Arguing his Originating Summons before Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Sanusi’s lawyer, Mr. Kola Awodein (SAN) said FRCN lacks power to conduct such probe.
Sanusi is praying the court to stop his investigation by the council. He joined FRCN and its Executive Secretary as respondents.
According to him, FRCN’s declaration in a Briefing Note dated June 7 and submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan were ultra vires (outside) its powers as contained in the FRCN Act, 2011.
The applicant is urging the court to hold that the defendants, having reached a conclusion as to his culpability as Governor of CBN, as indicated in the briefing note and newspaper publications, can no longer conduct any investigation on the same matter.
Awodein said the defendants do not have the power to conduct the wide-ranging investigations as reported in a news medium and as contained in an invitation letter sent to Sanusi.
He added that the defendants cannot, therefore, conduct that kind of investigation regarding the period that the plaintiff was the CBN governor.
According to Awodein, the defendants reached conclusions and made far reaching recommendations without giving Sanusi a fair hearing.
“In those conclusions and decisions they have taken, they have breached his fundamental rights to natural justice, because the plaintiff was not given any opportunity to defend himself before they reached those decisions,” Awodein said.
For instance, the lawyer said FRCN wrongly accused Sanusi of misappropriating N20.2billion in legal and professional fees.
He said had the defendants given Sanusi the opportunity to defend himself, he would have shown how the money was spent.