The NLC said Sanusi’s suspension is evidence the Jonathan administration is only paying lip service to the fight against corruption.
The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has described the removal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Lamido Sanusi, as clear evidence that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is only paying lip service to the fight against corruption.
Describing Mr. Sanusi’s removal as “untidy, unethical and vengeful”, the congress, in a statement, called on the National Assembly to suspend the nomination of a new governor until all the allegations made against Mr. Sanusi are “thoroughly and transparently investigated and proven.”
Last Thursday, citing a report by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Mr. Jonathan, through his media aide, Reuben Abati, announced the suspension of Mr Sanusi for what was termed “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.”
However, Mr. Sanusi claimed he was suspended for blowing the lid off alleged $20 billion unremitted oil revenue from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and general corruption in the oil sector, a claim which is also the belief of many Nigerians.
President Jonathan, however, defended Mr. Sanusi’s suspension during the Presidential Media Chat on Monday. The president said the suspension was to pave the way for an unhindered investigation of the CBN accounts and allegations against Mr. Sanusi. He also said he had the powers to suspend the CBN governor.
The NLC, however, said the process of Mr. Sanusi’s removal from office was “unlawful and disdainful of the Act (as amended) establishing the Central Bank.”
“The forceful removal of Sanusi from office could be said to be clearly at variance with the rules of democracy if not out rightly vindictive and is capable of discouraging or frightening future whistleblowers.
“We believe a dangerous precedent has been sent which could be used tomorrow by a power-drunk president with dire economic consequences for the nation.
“We consider the reasons for Sanusi’s removal as spurious as much as they unconvincing. More curious is the haste with which the government has sought to replace him. While his immediate deputy was announced to act on his behalf during the period of his suspension pending investigation into allegations of professional misconduct against him, a few hours later, the name of the Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele was forwarded to the Senate for confirmation as the new Governor. This is a clear breach of known public service rules as any officer on suspension for reasons that are yet to be investigated needs to be given fair hearing and benefits pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
The NLC also called on the National Assembly to step up the investigation of the missing money at the NNPC with aim of ascertaining the actual amount and those that benefitted from it.