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APC Warns Jonathan Against Moves To Force CBN Governor, Sanusi Out of Office

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to tread softly on his reported plan to force the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to resign because of the impact such will have on the nation’s economy.

CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said asking the CBN Governor to step down, on the basis of a mere allegation that he leaked the letter he wrote to the President, over the unremitted $49.8 billion oil revenue, does not bode well for an economy that is already on crutches.

It warned that any move to suspend Sanusi and use security forces to prevent him from entering his office, as reported by the media, will even be worse, because it will mean that the President is willing to circumvent the provision of the law that the Governor of the CBN can only be removed by two-thirds of the Senate membership.

Not only that, APC said, suspending Sanusi would be a replay of the damage that President Jonathan did to the judiciary when he suspended Salami until his retirement, and he could easily re-enact such scenario if, for example, he feels that the INEC Chairman has offended him.

”Our worry here is that the President should not destroy our institutions before he leaves office,” the party said.

It said the party’s main reason for commenting on the planned removal of Sanusi, either through forced retirement or via suspension, is the impact that a crisis of confidence between the President and the CBN Governor will have on the nation’s economy.

”These include a loss of confidence in the economic management of the country, leading to uncertainty among domestic and foreign investors; as well as pressure on the exchange rate as foreign portfolio investors in government bonds and the stock market make their exit, and the corresponding fall in the value of share prices.

”Overall, a protracted standoff between the President and the CBN Governor will spell bad news for economic growth and employment and increase poverty. This is why we advise President Jonathan against precipitating a crisis in the economy, and we urge all Nigerians to advise him against such,” APC said.

The party said there was nothing wrong in a CBN Governor alerting the President to any discrepancy he may have noticed in the remittance of revenue from oil, which is the mainstay of the economy, adding that such action is expected from any CBN Governor who is worth his salt.

It said there is no reason to believe that Sanusi leaked the letter he wrote to the President, especially because the CBN Governor wrote the letter in September and the letter was not leaked until December.

”It stands to reason that if the CBN Governor had wanted to leak the letter, he had no reason waiting for four months to do so. Also, the moment the letter was sent to Mr. President, it has gone beyond the purview of the CBN Governor, and anyone with a reason to do so could as well have leaked the letter.

”Therefore, for the President to have made the extraordinary move to force out the CBN Governor, even though he has a few months to the end of his tenure, smacks of vendetta and is capable of impacting negatively on the economy. Circumventing the law to force out the CBN

Governor will amount to brigandage and reinforce the perception of the Jonathan Administration as one with a propensity for impunity,” it said.

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1 Comment for “APC Warns Jonathan Against Moves To Force CBN Governor, Sanusi Out of Office”

  1. PRESIDENT JONATHAN HAS NO POWER TO DEMAND THE RESIGNATION OF GOVERNOR SANUSI LAMIDO
    Undoubtedly the Central Bank of Nigeria is conceived to be an independent entity in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities because of the central role it is required to play in the management of the economy. Section 1 (3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act provides that In order to facilitate the achievement of its mandate under this Act and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, and in line with the objective of promoting stability and continuity in economic management, the Bank shall be an independent body in the discharge of its functions.

    The grounds under which the Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria can be removed from office are spelt out in Section 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment Act0, 2004. Section 1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment Act) provide thus:

    (1) A person shall not remain a Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Bank if he is-
    (a) a member of any Federal or State legislative house; or
    (b) a Director, officer or employee of any bank licensed under the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act.
    (2) The Governor, Deputy Governor or Director shall cease to hold office in the Bank if he-
    (a) becomes of unsound mind or, owing to ill-health, is incapable of carrying out his duties;
    (b) is convicted of any criminal offence by a court of competent jurisdiction except for traffic offences or contempt proceedings arising in connection with the execution or intended execution of any power or duty conferred under this Act or the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act;
    (c) is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties under this Act ;
    (d) is disqualified or suspended from practising his profession in Nigeria by order of a competent authority made in respect of him personally;
    (e) becomes bankrupt;
    (f) is removed by the President:

    Provided that the removal of the Governor shall be supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed.

    It is clear that by Section 11 subsection 2 (f) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act that the president can remove the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria provided the removal is supported by two thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed. In other words, the President can remove Sanusi Lamido if he is supported by 72 Senators that represents two-thirds majority in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    It follows that Sanusi Lamido refusal to heed to the request of President Jonathan that he resign his appointment as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is proper. It was reported that the President Jonathan had written to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to resign over an allegation that he (Sanusi) leaked the memo written by him to the President concerning the failure of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to remit the sum of $49 Billion to the Federation Accounts realised from the sale of crude oil for a period almost running into 12 months. Governor Sanusi was appointed by the late President Umaru Musa Yaradua as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2008. His five year tenure is expected to expire in June, 2014.

    He has since given notice of his intention not to go for another term. Governor Sanusi has since stoutly denied the allegation that he leaked the memo he wrote to the President to the media and General Olusegun Obasanjo. It will be recalled that the allegation that $49 billion was missing from the NNPC accounts was one of the allegation made against President Jonathan by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his strong worded letter to President Jonathan in December, 2013.

    The apparent failure of President Jonathan to sought quality legal advice before demanding the resignation of Governor Sanusi from office as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria leaves a sour taste in the mouth because it shows the disorderliness in the Jonathan’s presidency and its predilection to lawlessness and impunity. One of such show of impunity was the suspension and subsequent refusal to restore to office the former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami despite the advice of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Mustapha. One of the hall marks of the Jonathan’s presidency is the stirring up of needless controversies which sends wrong signal and over heat the polity. This latest one is characteristic of the Jonathan’s presidency.

    Okoi

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