Talk Less And Let Your Lawyers Do The Talking—HURIWA Tells Sanusi

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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Worried about the adverse impact on Nigeria's international image by the needless media war going on between supporters/close aides of President Good luck Jonathan and the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a pro-democracy Non-Governmental organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has asked the warring parties to sheathe the sword even as it counseled the embattled erstwhile central Bank governor to avoid reckless, sensational and politically tainted sentiments and comments in the media.

Besides, the group has also advised the government to implement to its fullest the extensive recommendations of the Financial Reporting Council [FRC] of Nigeria regarding the prosecution of the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, all the deputy governors including the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to avoid the pitfall of government's action being classified as punitive and selective witch hunt of the erstwhile central bank boss known for his anti-government rhetoric over the past few months.

Specifically, HURIWA recalled vividly that the FRC is responsible for, among other things, developing and publishing accounting and financial reporting standards to be observed in the preparation of financial statements of public entities in Nigeria.

Besides, the Financial Reporting Council had in paragraph 2g of the said report, prayed President Jonathan to exercise his powers and “cause the Governor (of CBN) and the Deputy Governors to cease from holding office in the CBN.”

In a media release jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA, asked President Jonathan to implement the entire body of recommendations made by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria or to offer to Nigerians credible and irrefutable reasons why the other indicted top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria should not face the same sanction as has been done to the erstwhile governor of the CBN Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. This according to the Rights group will create the right impression that the current government has no hidden agenda against the suspended CBN governor.

Conversely, HURIWA wants the suspended CBN governor to accord respect to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to concentrate his energy towards clearing his name of the groundswell of allegations of fraud and monumental misappropriation of public fund while he held sway as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. The Rights group also asked the President to instruct his personal aides to stop forthwith the ongoing propaganda against the person of the erstwhile governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria so as not to create impression that the suspension has political undertone.

HURIWA states thus; "We have watched with considerable trepidation the seemingly unending media war and propaganda between the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the person of the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and we wish to state that the public spat is not in the best interest of the global image of Nigeria as one of the economic giants on the black continent of Africa and these verbal exchanges read around the World would further rubbish our international rating. We hereby ask the suspended Governor of CBN Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the officials of the Presidency and their media cronies to stop behaving like quarrelsome roadside traders but to carry themselves with decorum."

The Rights group said while it expects the suspended CBN governor to redirect his energy towards presenting formidable and unimpeachable legal defence at the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction to the series of mindboggling allegations of heist of public fund as made by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, the media aides of President Jonathan should be cautioned to stop the needless mudslinging and character assassination targeted at the person of the erstwhile CBN helmsman since the suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was anchored on an independent report turned in by a statutory body.

HURIWA argued that should the Presidency's media staff continue with the media war against Mallam Sanusi then Nigerians and the rest of the World would misconstrue the suspension as personal vendetta and selective witch -hunt against the embattled former CBN governor for reportedly raising alarm over some missing huge crude oil fund belonging to Nigeria.