Nigerian president suspends central bank governor Sanusi

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Nigeria downplays Sanusi/Jonathan feud and shifts focus to WEF Africa Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. PHOTO: Think Africa Press

The announcement of Sanusi’s suspension was made on 20 February 2014 only a month after Jonathan had allegedly asked the governor to step down.

Today’s sudden pronouncement has confirmed rumours of a feud brewing between the two men.


According to reports at the time, the dispute was over a letter that Sanusi had written to Jonathan, in September last year, informing the president of the unremitted 49.8 billion dollars of oil revenue to the Federation Account.

Sources said that Jonathan accused Sanusi of leaking the letter to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The accusation was made after the former statesmen made reference to the Federation Account in an open letter to Jonathan titled “Before it is too late” where Obasanjo critiques the current state of the country and corruption.

Jonathan is said to have been upset by Obasanjo’s criticism, and denied government fraud.

Sanusi denied leaking the letter and refused to resign until the end of his tenure, which is in June of this year.


In late January 2014 during the 44th meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, tensions between the president and the governor seemed to have subsided as focus shifted to hosting WEF Africa.

At the time economic players within the West African state had concerns about the impact of the dispute on the organisation of the event.

However, during an interview with CNBC Africa in Davos, Sanusi spoke greatly of how the bank was working well with state departments, “The national assembly has been supportive, the president, the government and like I said, in a relationship sometimes things happen and they get resolved”.

The respected banker has spearheaded reforms in Nigeria’s troubled banking sector since his appointment in 2009.