Sanusi ‘not shaken’ by court action: counsel - CNBC Africa

Sanusi ‘not shaken’ by court action: counsel

Western Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Sanusi's counsel says it does not think there was any wrongdoing by the governor. PHOTO: African Examiner

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the suspended central bank governor had filed a suit challenging his suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan on February 20, 2014.

(WATCH VIDEO: Nigerian central bank governor asked to step down)

“We do not see it as a victory for the president’s on this matter or government,” A.B Mahmoud, Sanusi’s counsel told CNBC Africa.

“Governor Sanusi himself has always emphasised that this is not a personal issue but is a matter important for the institution itself,” he added.

With regards to the body that handled the matter, Mahmoud said, it was important to note that the financial reporting council was not an investigative body but a body established to establish financial reporting standards.

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) was tasked to investigate the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and questioned the operations of the bank under the leadership of Sanusi.

Mahmoud argues that the council went too far in their investigations as they do not have legal basis of conducting such investigations.

“We do not think that the FRCN has the mandate to embark on such a far reaching investigations and make those conclusions, in our view that is outside their legal mandate,” he said.

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After the FRCN issued the report, the axed governor approached the court seeking recourse as far as investigations were concerned.

The court ruled that the governor was not given a fair hearing on the matter hence leaving the suspension of the governor with unanswered questions.

Asked to comment on the alleged 163 billion naira figure that was used by the bank for social responsibility projects, Mahmoud said governor himself had given detailed information with regards to how the amount was used.

(WATCH VIDEO: Nigeria's Sanusi speaks out after suspension)

"We do not think there was any fraud involved and we do not think there was any wrongful action on the part of the bank."

Nigeria's Federal High Court yesterday declined to rule on a complaint by central bank governor Lamido Sanusi over his suspension, referring it to an industrial court.

The court's unwillingness to take up the case will raise alarm about how independent the central bank, credited under Sanusi with engineering a stable currency and historically low inflation in Africa's biggest economy, can really be if a president can remove its governor at will without a challenge.  

But it will make little material difference to the running of the bank. Sanusi was due to step down in June anyway.

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