The lawyer says the Minister of Petroleum should have been suspended.
A former Majority Leader in the Osun state House of Assembly, Wahab Toye, has described the suspension of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, as an affirmation of corruption in the country.
Mr. Toye, an Abuja-based lawyer, said this while speaking to journalists in Ibadan on Saturday.
“The suspension of Mallam Sanusi as CBN governor is an affirmation of corrupt practices in government by the president himself, and it is quite unfortunate for a Nigerian state we find ourselves now.
“I may say that the action is not only a de facto, but a de jure approval of corrupt practices in governance, endorsed by the president. It is an endorsement of corrupt practices among public office holders under this regime,” he said.
The CBN governor was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan last Thursday for alleged mismanagement of funds and abuse of office. There is, however, a school of thought that says Mr. Sanusi is being witch hunted for exposing the alleged massive fraud going in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
While assessing the development which has generated huge controversies across the land, the ex-lawmaker noted that if Nigeria were like the developed countries, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, should be the one to have been suspended due to the huge corruption going on in the sector under her watch.
He cited the example of the United States of America where Mr. Sanusi’s office is named ‘Chairman of Treasury’, noting that no government jokes with economic concerns raised by the occupant of the office.
“In the USA, when the Treasury speaks, he talks about the language of the economy and they take him serious. This man (Sanusi) said certain time that about $50b was missing from the NNPC treasury.
“When the Petroleum Minister’s spokesperson was answering the question, he said CBN could not be behaving like an auditing firm. At a time, they said the money was $20b. People were dragging it; talking seriously. The Ministry of Petroleum could not defend themselves on that. After a while, the NNPC refunded $7.6b. This is a huge amount when converted to naira,” he said.
Mr. Toye added that he would have expected the Presidency or the National Assembly to assemble financial experts to investigate the claims and come up with a report that states the truth about the whole scenario.
“For Sanusi to have been talking like that, it means that he has documents on his side to back up his claim. He was helping the nation to start a cleansing exercise, but they did not want him to do that.
“The answer to Sanusi’s exposition is not in suspending him because he was assisting the nation. But let me be frank with you, that is just a fractional problem. Corruption has gone into many facets of the nation’s psyche; be it economy, education and the rest.
“Leadership determines the type of governance you have. If certain part of the alleged $49b could later be remitted, it means that if Sanusi had not raised the dust, the whole money would have gone like that. This is unfortunate and it calls for deep worry,” he said.