A pro-transparency and democracy inclined Non-governmental Organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has asked President Good luck Jonathan and the National Assembly to thread softly and ensure that the baby is not thrown away with the bath water in the matter of the suspension by the President of the embattled Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Reacting to the suspension of the Central Bank chief the Rights group stated that the impression created by the sudden turn of event with regards to the removal of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria was that the Government of the Nigerian State is going after him because of the ‘heroic’ role of a whistle blower he reportedly played in disclosing the top secret of alleged missing money totaling over $20, 000 billion reportedly stolen by officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC].
Besides, HURIWA faulted the quality of legal advise received by President Jonathan that occasioned this sudden removal of the CBN governor even when there is a groundswell of legal opinion that the legislature is to be consulted before reaching such a determination in line with extant enabling Act setting up the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] said ‘fair hearing’ as enshrined in the chapter four of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be complied with in determining the fate of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi even as the group said from available records there are no cogent and verifiable records to indicate that the suspended Central Bank chief Executive was offered this constitutional right which is inalienable and inviolable.
“We caution against a resort to self help particularly when the media recently reported an altercation on the telephone between President Jonathan and the CBN governor over the latter’s style of administering the nation’s premier banking institution. As a democrat with far reaching credentials, President Jonathan must avoid any action that may be misconstrued as political vendetta. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is controversial no doubt, but Government must comply with extant provisions of the law in dealing with any office holder even if assuming that legally the President who enjoys power of appointment also has the power to terminate.”
HURIWA stated thus; “We have just learnt about the suspension of the very outspoken and politically conscious Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi by President Jonathan on the grounds of some official indiscretion. We acknowledge that in as much as we have consistently cautioned against some of the outbursts of the now suspended CBN governor because of the adverse economic implications that such high profile speeches may have on the overall health of the nation’s economy, we do also think that the man in question has done so well for the health of the anti-corruption campaign to such a level that some powerful agencies of government in the petroleum sector that have been accused of running opaque financial mechanism have been compelled by the force of public opinion and the powerful disclosures of financial heist in the crude oil sector of the Nigerian economy as made by the suspended CBN governor, to now start responding to the groundswell of allegations of theft directed at some of their officials over the past few years.”
The Rights group said the decision to suspend the CBN governor when he was only few weeks to retirement was uncalled for just as HURIWA expressed apprehension that the negative import conveyed by the surreptitious removal of the nation’s chief banker will severely affect the global image of the country as a nation that does not care much about the grave consequences of official corruption and economic crimes. “Why suspend a man who is already on his way out after he served Nigeria for the last four or so years and is credited to have brought sanity and thorough bred reforms in the banking industry that was afflicted by insider dealings and widespread cases of fraudulent practices by bank directors?”
HURIWA recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly ordered the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to proceed on suspension immediately.
According to Presidential Adviser on Media, Reuben Abati, Sanusi has been indicted by relevant bodies in the financial sector of financial recklessness.
The statement by Government reads thus; “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;