Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Lamido Sanusi, has reacted to his suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan, vowing to head for court to challenge his suspension.
Sanusi, who spoke on CNBC Africa few hours after his suspension on Thursday, said challenging his removal in court was not to ensure that he returned to the office but to preserve the integrity and independence of the apex financial institution.
He equally dismissed the sundry allegations made against his leadership at the CBN, saying the allegations were not new.
Sanusi described his suspension as political, wondering why the Presidency had waited for this long to remove him from office.
President Jonathan had ordered the immediate suspension of Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and directed him to hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor in the apex bank, Dr. Sarah Alade, who will serve as Acting Governor until the conclusion of ongoing investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the bank.
A statement issued by his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the President expects the acting Governor to focus on the core mandate of the bank and conduct its affairs with greater professionalism, prudence and propriety to restore domestic and international confidence in the country’s apex bank.
According to the statement, the President took the decision to suspend Sanusi after getting reports of financial recklessness and misconduct which characterized his tenure as CBN governor.
It said the government was “deeply” concerned about far-reaching irregularities under his (Sanusi’s) watch which have distracted the apex bank away from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate and core responsibilities.
The statement reads, “Having taken special notice of reports of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and other investigating bodies, which indicate clearly that Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure has been characterized by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline.
“Being also deeply concerned about far-reaching irregularities under Mallam Sanusi’s watch which have distracted the Central Bank away from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate and core responsibilities.
“Being determined to urgently re-position the Central Bank of Nigeria for greater efficiency, respect for due process and accountability, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ordered the immediate suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from the Office of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“President Jonathan has further ordered that Mallam Sanusi should hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr Sarah Alade who will serve as Acting Governor until the conclusion of ongoing investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the CBN.