The presidency has welcomed the decision of Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to seek legal redress on the constitutionality of his suspension from office as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The presidency was reacting to an interview the suspended CBN governor granted CNBC Africa that he would go to court in order to “establish once and for all if the president has the powers to do this [suspend him]”.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Reuben Abati, who made the presidency’s position known yesterday afternoon during an interview with State House correspondents in Abuja, said Sanusi had the right to challenge his suspension.
“If he does (goes to court), he is free to do so. Individuals have the right to express themselves under the constitution”, he said.
The presidential aide, however, stressed that Jonathan did not remove Sanusi, saying he only suspended him pending the outcome of the ongoing investigations into all the allegations leveled against him.
He said the investigations began first week of May last year, adding that part of the allegations against Sanusi bothered on issues including the apex bank’s unlawful expenditures on intervention projects across the country without any approval.
Abati also denied speculations that there was a pending directive for Sanusi’s arrest.
“I’m not aware of any directive that he (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) should be arrested as of this moment, I’m not aware of that.
“But, of course you know that under the enabling act of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, where an indictment is established and all that, the law could take its course.
“But, as of this moment, I’m not aware of any directive that he should be arrested”.
He also said Sanusi’s suspension had nothing to do with the revelations he had made regarding the allegedly unremitted $20bn to the federation account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.