I Have Powers To Suspend CBN Governor, Jonathan Insists
Says Sanusi Remains Suspended Until Investigations Into CBN's Finances are Concluded SAN FRANCISCO, February 24, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan Monday justified the suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, saying that he has absolute powers to suspend the controversial banker.
'The issue of the Central Bank is unfortunate but on whether the President has powers to suspend, I will tell you yes, the president has absolute powers 'The President has oversight functions over the CBN.
This is why the President approves audited accounts of the CBN or any changes to be made in the country's currencies,' Mr.
Jonathan declared at this year's first live presidential media chat held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Jonathan however clarified that Sanusi's suspension did not mean he has been fired from his position, explaining that he was asked to step aside to allow for an unhindered investigation into the finances of the bank following his indictment by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) for financial recklessness.
He wondered why his suspension has generated a lot controversy in the media and public discourse saying 'Sanusi is still the Governor of CBN' and if exonerated after investigations, would be recalled.
'Jonathan is not going there to audit CBN.
It is the FRCN that is auditing CBN.
Even in village meetings, if a member commits, he will have to step aside first.
So on Sanusi, we must allow the financial reporting council to do its work.
'If the grey areas are settled by the FRCN and they feel that the infractions are real, then I will go to the Senate.
I cannot say I am firing him,' the President said.
Jonathan also commented on the 'missing $20 billion' which Sanusi claimed the NNPC had failed to remit into the federation account saying the suspended banker had given different conflicting figures.
He further explained that Sanusi's suspension had nothing to do with the missing money claim as being insinuated by the controversial banker and a section of the media, adding that his first query to him over the finances of the CBN was since April 2013.
'I received calls from all over the world from people asking if such huge amount as $49bn, more than the aid to Africa, could disappear like that.
I don't even know which one to believe anymore.
But even if the amount is merely N1, it would be investigated and nobody indicted would go scot-free.
I can tell you that no President will be happy to hear that money, no matter how small, disappeared from the treasury,' he said.
The President also commented on ongoing military assault against the terrorist Boko Haram in northern Nigeria and the upcoming national conference, but dodged the question on whether he would seek re-election in 2015, saying, 'I will speak at the right time.