Sanusi Says Jonathan A Simple Man Surrounded By Incompetent And Fraudulent People
LAGOS – Nigeria's former Central Bank chief, Lamido Sanusi on Sunday
described the president who ousted him as a simple man trying to do well
who has been undermined by incompetent and fraudulent aides.
Sanusi was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday over
alleged financial misconduct, a move seen by many analysts as politically
Sanusi has accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) of
misappropriating $20 billion (14.5 billion euros), allegations that earned
him powerful enemies across the government.
In an interview with AFP in Lagos, Sanusi said many of the people advising
Jonathan are sycophants who do not speak frankly or honestly about the
extent of corruption in government.
“When you sit with President Jonathan himself he appears a nice simple
person who is trying his best to do his best,” Sanusi said.
“His greatest failing obviously is that he is surrounded by people who are
extremely incompetent, who are extremely fraudulent and whom he trusts.”
Sanusi learned of his removal from office while in Niger on Thursday and
immediately returned to Lagos, where agents from the Directorate of State
Services (DSS) seized his passport.
On Friday, he secured a temporary protective order from the Federal High
Court in Lagos barring Nigerian intelligence agents from the DSS or police
from arresting him.
“I thought taking away my passport was the beginning of infringement on my
fundamental human rights,” Sanusi told AFP, explaining why he had already
sought court protection.
While no charges have been filed against him, Sanusi said he was prepared
for whatever attacks may come.
“That we are here today means that I have taken the decision that I will
face the consequences of whatever I do,” he said.
He said his “fierce independence” had been an annoyance to the government
since 2009, culminating with his sustained, public attack on the NNPC,
widely seen as the epicentre of corruption in Africa's top oil producer.
“If I am sacrificed in whatever way, my freedom or my life… if it does
lead to better accountability it will be well worth it,” he said