The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, has dragged President Goodluck Jonathan before an Abuja Federal High Court in a suit he filed to challenge his suspension from office.
In the application filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Kola Awodein, SAN, Sanusi is asking the court to restrain the President, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police from giving effect to his purported suspension from office as the CBN governor, pending the determination of the suit.
He is equally asking the court to make an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants “from obstructing, disturbing, stopping or preventing him, in any manner whatsoever, from performing the functions of his office as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and enjoying in full, the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office.”
Urging the court to expeditiously grant his interlocutory application, Sanusi maintained that any delay may cause irreparable and serious damage and mischief on him in the exercise of his statutory duties as the CBN governor.
He stated “The President’s continuing unlawful interference with the management and administration of the apex bank, unless arrested, poses grave danger to Nigeria’s economy.”
He insisted that the danger his suspension posed to the economy was enough reason for the court to grant his application and as a result make an order for status quo ante bellum to enable him to return to his office as the CBN governor.
In an affidavit deposed in support of the suit, Sanusi linked his suspension to the discrepancies he reported in the remittances of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to the Federation Account.
He explained that in the course of his duties as the CBN governor, he discovered certain discrepancies in respect of amounts paid into the Federation Account from the proceeds of crude oil sales between the period of January 2012 and July 2013.
He added that he expressed concern in respect of the said discrepancies and also informed the National Assembly of same “because they affect the revenue of the federation and the national economy.”
Sanusi added that in purporting to suspend him from office, Jonathan was punishing him for the disclosures he made.
Sanusi stressed that the President did not approach nor obtain the support of the Senate before suspending him.
He disclosed that some senators, particularly a former governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki, had informed him that Jonathan did not consult the upper legislative chamber before taking the action.
“I have been informed, and I verily believe the information given to me by Senator Bukola Saraki to be true and correct that the Senate did not give the President any support for my purported suspension and removal from office as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he said.
Sanusi further stated that his purported suspension was contrary to provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act relating to the appointment and removal of the CBN governor.
According to him, his purported suspension amounted to “unlawful interference in the administration and management of the apex bank and is illegal, null and void.”
He therefore urged the court, in the interest of justice, to grant his reliefs.
The suit has not been assigned for hearing.