The suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi was on Saturday night prevented from travelling to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj.
Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and currently a member of the All Progressives Congress, has broken the news on his Facebook account. Later, the development was confirmed by Premium Times reporters who contancted Sanusi’s spokesperson.
Mr. Sanusi had arrived at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport to board the 11.10 p.m. flight to Turkey where he was supposed to catch another flight to Saudi Arabia. However, Nigeria State Security Service officers approached him at the Kano airport, confiscated his pasport. El-Rufai, in his Facebook post, states that the SSS operatives were acting on the orders from President Goodluck Jonathan who directed to disregard any High Court rulings. According to Premium Times, the operatives told Sanusi he would not be allowed to travel abroad unless they received clearance from their Abuja headquarters.
It would be recalled that Mr. Sanusi’s passport was also seized by the SSS in February, when he was accused of “sponsoring terrorism” in Nigeria. On April 3, the Federal High Court in Lagos cleared Sanusi of all charges and restrained the Federal Government, the SSS and the Nigeria Police from arresting or harassing the CBN Governor, or seizing his passport. The three institutions were directed to issue a public apology and pay N50million in damages to the suspended CBN Governor.
President Goodluck Jonathan had on February 20 suspended Mr. Sanusi from office citing financial recklessness as reason. Many observes, however, point out that the real reason behind the move was because Sanusi blew the whistle on state oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, saying the corporation failed to account for $20billion oil revenue.
The SSS spokesperson Marilyn Ogar said she was yet to be briefed on the issue.