21st February, 2014
The Federal Government on Thursday said that the suspension of the Central Bank Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was not an act of witch hunting.
A statement issued Thursday night by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, said the suspension did not deviate from the anti-corruption drive of the Jonathan administration.
It stated that the issues which led to the suspension dates back to April 2013 following the submission of the CBN audited accounts for Dec. 31, 2012 and which was submitted to the president by the apex bank.
The statement said there were several grievous issues bothering on impunity, incompetence, non-challance, fraud, wastefulness, and gross abuse of and non-compliance with provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007 by Sanusi.
This, it stated, caused Mr President to issue a 22-paragraph query to the suspended CBN Governor on May 4, 2013.
It stated that the explanation by Sanusi was forwarded to the president on May 22, 2013.
“After painstaking analysis and examination, the response was forwarded to the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria for further scrutiny and professional advice.
“The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria thereafter forwarded a 13-page response to Mr President with various critical observations and far-reaching recommendations,’’ it stated.
The statement urged Mr President to invoke the powers conferred by Section 11(2) (f) of the CBN ACT 2007 or invoke Section 11 (2) (c) of the Act and cause the Governor and Deputy Governors to cease from holding office in the CBN.
“It is also important to note the unrestrained manner, recklessness and impunity with which the CBN Governor had governed the apex bank in the last few years. In 2013 alone, the suspended CBN Governor single-handedly made spurious donations and awarded questionable contracts totalling N163 billion to various institutions.’’
It stated that the donations were without recourse to the president as stipulated by Section 7 sub-section 5(a) of the CBN Act.
“Most unfortunate is the fact that of the 63 projects listed under the Corporate Social Responsibility of the CBN; only three of the contracts above one billion naira were referred to the Bureau of Public Procurement as required by law.
The statement stated that it was based on this and other recommendations in the report and after further consultations among stakeholders that Mr President ordered the suspension
It stated that the suspension was in the interest of probity, accountability and in order to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the Nations apex bank.
“This action of Mr President is coming after a painstaking appraisal and investigation of all issues involved.
“The fact that this has occurred at the same period that Sanusi accused the NNPC of non-remittance of 20 billion dollars to the Federation Account does not in any way derogate from the grave infractions and illegalities discovered in the audit report of the CBN and its operations.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerians should be assured that government will go to any length to ensure that Malam Sansui’s allegations against the NNPC are fully and conclusively investigated and if anyone is found culpable, they will be subjected to the full weight of the law