Femi Falana said Lamido Sanusi should have resigned.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has blamed Lamido Sanusi for the Central Bank Governor’s suspension from office.
President Goodluck Jonathan, Thursday, suspended Mr. Sanusi, Nigeria’s Central Bank, CBN, governor, from office over allegations of financial recklessness. Mr. Sanusi has denied anywrongoings and alleged that he was suspended because he exposed the corruption in Nigeria’s state owned oil company, NNPC. He said he would challenge his suspension in court.
Mr. Falana, in a statement he circulated on Saturday, said the CBN governor dared the President by refusing to resign when he was purportedly asked to.
“Convinced that he could only be removed by the President with the approval of the Senate Mr Sanusi turned down the request and dared the President to remove him,” Mr. Falana said.
“Having regard to his irreconcilable differences with the Jonathan Administration on the operation and management of the Federation Account Mr Sanusi ought to have voluntarily resigned his appointment.
“But he decided to remain in office while taking the Administration to the cleaners at the tail end of his 5-year tenure. To that extent, Mr Sanusi has himself to blame for his suspension from office on account of alleged financial recklessness,” Mr. Falana added.
President Jonathan has already forwarded the name of Godwin Emefiele, the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, to the Senate as a replacement for Mr. Sanusi. Mr. Emefiele, if cleared by the Senate, will resume in June, when Mr. Sanusi’s tenure as BN boss expires. However, the most senior Deputy Governor of the CBN, Sarah Alade, is currently acting as the governor.
Mr. Falana said that since Mr. Sanusi had been placed on suspension, the law presumes that he remains the substantive Governor of the CBN.
“Therefore, pending the end of his tenure or removal from office through the Senate there is no basis for the appointment of a new CBN governor,” said Mr. Falana.
“President Jonathan is advised to suspend the process for the replacement of the CBN governor by withdrawing the new nomination forwarded to the Senate as the nation cannot have a suspended governor and a substantive governor of the CBN at the same time.
“In the alternative, the Senate should put off any debate on the fresh nomination pending the end of the tenure of the suspended governor,” he added.
Mr. Falana further stated that the diversion of huge public funds from the Federation Account as alleged by Mr. Sanusi should not be swept under the carpet, while calling for the investigation of the alleged financial recklessness against the suspended CBN governor.
“Once again, I call on the Federal Government to allow the Auditor-General of the Federation to audit the accounts of the CBN and the NNPC by virtue of section 85 of the Constitution.
“The reports of such audit should then be submitted to the National Assembly for necessary action in line with the provisions of section 85(4) of the Constitution,” Mr. Falana added.