CBN: Court declines Sanusi's move to void suspension

By The Citizen

The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Wednesday experienced a temporary setback as a Federal High Court siting in Abuja and presided by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, refused to grant his ex parte application for his return to office pending the determination of the suit he filed challenging President Jonathan's powers to suspend him from office.

The judge declined the invitation to make the orders being sought by Sanusi on the ground that it would be unfair to grant such an application without affording the President, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police the opportunity to be heard.

Sanusi had filed the application last Monday wherein he urged 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 as the governor of the CBN and enjoying in full, the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office.

The court ordered Sanusi to put the President and the other defendants in the suit on notice, to enable them to be heard and fixed further hearing for Wednesday, 12th March.

In refusing the application, the court noted that it had, not only the judicial powers to declare the suspension unlawful, but to order that Sanusi be returned to perform his duties as the governor of the CBN and that even where the tenure had lapsed, that the court can also order the defendants to pay Sanusi such remuneration and allowances on the basis that his suspension also carried with it the stoppage of his remuneration and allowances.

'It is unsafe, judicially speaking, to embark on far reaching interim orders which have all the attributes of a mandatory injunction without according the defendant a hearing. Pondering on the reliefs sought, I feel hesitant and constrained to grant the plaintiff's motion ex parte'. The judge stated.

He further noted that another issue he would like to raise when defendants have been duly served with the originating summons and motion on notice was whether in the light of the third alteration Act number 20 of the Constitution of Nigeria, whether the Federal High Court still has the jurisdiction to entertain issues dealing with employment, notwithstanding the questions that Sanusi had set down for determination in his originating summons.