The House of Representatives on Thursday was divided over President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to suspend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido as lawmakers across party divide expressed divergent views on the matter. However, in the end, the majority carried the day in rejecting the suspension move.
President Jonathan had yesterday announced that he suspended Lamido based on allegations of “financial recklessness” among other offences.
This was sequel to a motion on the matter moved by Minority Whip, Samson Osagie, who argued that Sanusi’s suspension was unconstitutional and antithetical to Nigeria’s economy coming at the time the CBN governor raised the alarm about unremitted funds to the federation account.
He said the timing was wrong and Sanusi should not be washed away as he was only carrying out his duties as the chief executive officer of the apex bank and principal economic adviser to the federal government.
The minority whip further argued that the manner in which Sanusi was suspended was bereft of fairness as the man was not given any query, adding that the issues he raised ought to have been diagnosed thoroughly.
However, the motion attracted stiff opposition from some lawmakers, especially those in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Leading opposition on the motion, Deputy House Leader, Leo Ogor, said the president is constitutionally empowered to hire and fire especially when something is wrong.
The House was thrown into a moment of confusion when some lawmakers booed Ogor, in disagreement with his position.
Some lawmakers wanted to contribute further, but Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal prevented the matter from spiraling out of control as he put it to a voice vote.
Overwhelming majority of the lawmakers present at the plenary voted in favour of the motion.