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