Nigeria Governors attack Jonathan over Sanusi’s suspension, demand accountability on missing $20 billion

Presiding Officer, Asishana Okauru, announcing the result of the controversial NGF election that divided the Forum in 2013

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, on Tuesday lambasted President Goodluck Jonathan for suspending Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido, weeks after he blew the whistle on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for allegedly diverting not less than $20billion of the country’s oil revenues.

The apparently angry governors said at the end of their meeting in Abuja, which ended in the early hours of Tuesday, that the president’s action was meant to divert attention from the ongoing national discourse on the missing millions.

They faulted Mr. Jonathan for the action, saying he lacked the power to unilaterally send the CBN governor on suspension.

The President had insisted during a televised media chat on Monday that he had oversight powers over the CBN and therefore had absolute power to suspend Mr. Sanusi.

But the governors disagreed, saying the President’s action was a clear breach of the CBN Act 2007, which demands the president to consult the Nigerian senate before activating any process that might lead to the removal of the bank’s governor.

“The suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by Mr. President is in clear breach of the Nigerian Constitution and the CBN Act, 2007,” the governors said in a communique read to journalists by their chairman, Rotimi Amaechi.

“The suspension is aimed at diverting attention from the current national discourse on the missing $20billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Account, allegations of corruption and questionable accountability.”

The governors demanded accountability on the missing billions, and backed “the call of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Senate Committee on Finance for a forensic audit of the NNPC Account”.

The governors also condemned the Federal Government for failing to convene the meeting of  the National Economic Council, NEC, in the last seven months, an action they believe was hindering the constitutional opportunity to discuss the state of the nation’s economy.

They appealed to the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, to accelerate hearing on constitutional cases such as those on the Excess Crude Account and illegal deduction of oil subsidy.

The Forum also deliberated on the deadly insurgency in the North-East geopolitical zone and urged the Federal Government to be more responsive to its responsibility of protecting lives and tackle the spate of terrorism attacks in Borno State.

“We expect that the Federal Government should wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property in the country, especially in the North-East,” they said.

The Forum, however, commended the Federal Government’s efforts at curbing Boko Haram insurgents in the North and urged the government to up their strategies.

While condemning the current spate of killings in the North- East, it applauded the effort of the Nigerian military and other security agencies, which were tackling the insurgents.

The governors also accused the Federal Government of illegally plotting to impeach Governor Tanko Al- Makura of Nasarawa, describing the action as a renewed assault on constitutional democracy.

The NGF is an umbrella association of the 36 elected state governors of the federation, irrespective of party affiliation.

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kano, Lagos and Imo, while Osun, Borno and Edo were represented by their deputies.

A former Governor of Kwara, Bukola Saraki, now a senator, also made a brief appearance at the meeting. Mr. Saraki was Mr. Amaechi’s immediate predecessor as chairman of the Forum.

Read full communique below.

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 3RD MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24  2014, AT THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNOR’S LODGE, ASOKORO, ABUJA

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting today, at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja deliberated on a number of issues and resolved as follows:

1.     The suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, by Mr. President is in clear breach of the Nigerian Constitution and the CBN Act, 2007. The suspension is aimed at diverting attention from the current national discourse on the missing $20billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Account, allegations of corruption and questionable accountability. We support the call of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Senate Committee on Finance for a forensic audit of the NNPC Account.

2.     Forum reiterates its concern about the deliberate refusal of the presidency to convene the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting for seven months. This has emasculated the constitutional opportunity to discuss the perilous state of the Nigerian economy thus plunging the nation into an economic and political crisis. In addition, members appeal to the Judiciary particularly the Supreme Court to accelerate the hearing on the constitutional cases especially the case of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and illegal deductions on oil subsidy.

3.     Members condemn in totality the current spate of killings in the North East. We commend the Nigerian military and other security agencies in their effort to quell this. However, we expect that the federal government should wake up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property in the country especially in the North East.

4.     It has come to our notice that the presidency is plotting to illegally impeach the Governor of  Nasarawa State, Mr. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura. We condemn this renewed assault on constitutional democracy.

Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

February 24th, 2014

 

 


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  • Issei

    Pls Oga deploy more troops and equipment to north east

  • emmanuel

    This Amaechis forum is usually attended by 7 governors and 3 or 4 deputies. Is it not time he accept the fact that Jonathan has neutralised the NGF?

    If as a Governor, Amaechi does not know that Jonathans presidency is more powerful than an Obama’ s presidency in terms of the reach of unileretal decisions, then he is a joker which he trully is.

    Jonathan is a man who ignored Sanusi’s leaked letter initially becaise he know why he wrote it.

    How come Amaechis and his co-travellers are no more refering to $49 billion naira but over $20 billion, meaning that they acknowledge Sanusi to be a failed personality.

    We are cou.ting down to when Amaechi will be a forgotten name in Nigeria politics.

    It does seem that all past NGF chair persons becomes too arrogant and run into deep troubles somehow – odili, Igbinedion, Ibori, Bukola and now Amaechi

    • Yakub

      @emmanuel
      So Jonathan is now your God because he is more powerful than Obama? And so what? Power without a sense of purpose, responsibility, accountability and development. No wonder the Jonathan presidency is steeped in pettiness and vindictiveness.
      At any rate where is the so-called Jang-Jonathan NGF faction? When last did they meet? At least Amaechi NGF meets and take positions on national issues.
      Where is the so-called PDP Governor’s Forum led by the most criminal of all the Governors? Is it still in existence or that their hatchet work has been done and so there is no need to meet again. Isn’t it belittling and demeaning of the office of the President that a whole President will be proud of undermining the Governors just because of ego and personal ambition? What a pity.

      • Lolo

        Amaechi should know that he is not the chairman of NGF. AS AT now there are two chairman to the forum, in logic and legality they cant be two chairmen to a seat, hence Amaechi is NOT and should NOT regard himself as a chairman of the forum.

      • redeem

        yer brothers from the fulani north, were there for 39 yrs–their only achievements was the hanging of kensarowiwa and the assassination of kudirat-and poisoning of abiola–nothing more–in spite of the huge oil revenue put at their disposal they stole like sanusi

    • Dan Bahaushiya

      Amaechi’s name would never be a forgotten name in the world of democracy.

      Mark my words.

  • Comfortkay

    The way and manner Nigerian and its President GEJ talk about powers is very funny, the USA President the most powerful man does not have power to do anything or remove anyone like Nigerian President ,and l asked how long are we going to dance with this Nigeria kanguru Constitution written by the Military.
    There is no President in western democratic countries that have all powers and this Nigeria President is a disaster for Nigeria.

    • redeem

      sanusi was removed because he is a thief period-he gave out billions to APC-the records are there for all to see–it was not Jonathan who even sacked his uncle found by the British to have stolen the north blind

  • Preco01

    “I have not heard in any nation where the central bank governor is a whistle blower. He is the manager of the nation’s monetary policies as an adviser to the President of Nigeria on those issues. So the fact that he has moved from being the CBN governor to whistle blowing is a problem in itself”. – Mr. Labaran Maku
    Here in lies the problem! No where in the world would $20 Billion vanish into thin air from any nation’s commonwealth, you see, no where!. That is why the unusual also happened, the CBN governor becoming a whistle blower! you see? So the issue is the STOLEN $20 Billion period!

    • redeem

      The major sticking point with Sanusi’s “dismissal” is the widespread assumption that it is payback for him blowing the whistle about the whopping $20 billion missing from NNPC accounts. However, there is every probability that the opposite is what happened.
      The government was the first to query the Disgraced Sanusi about his financial improprieties. When he could not explain them, Sanusi went on the offensive by making public statements about missing monies at NNPC. This would explain why his allegations tuned out to be shambolic.

  • Garden-City Boy

    A bunch of disgruntled charlatans.

  • Fairgame

    Every well meaning Nigerian should back the call for an independent forensic audit of Diezani Allison Madueke’s NNPC and ministry of petroleum and also Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s CBN. I support the call by the minister of finance for an independent forensic audit. That audit should include the NNPC accounts since 1999 and CBN accounts.

  • Awarawa

    If what Sanusi said is true that the NNPC account has not been audited since 2005, then the the minister of Petroleum for those period needed to be queried and if found culpable should be sent to jail. OBJ, Rilwanu Lukman, Deziani…