The presidency blasted the “unrelenting attempt” by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to mislead the public over the true reasons of his suspension.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, has announced this while briefing the reporters at the State House on March 12, 2014, Wednesday.
The Presidency maintained that Sanusi’s suspension was due to “weighty charges of financial recklessness, gross misconduct”, as well as persistent disregard for laid down rules and regulations in CBN management.
The statement said that the decision was not connected to Sanusi’s claims that some sums of money were not remitted to the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The presidency further noted that the embattled CBN boss started spreading false allegations because he had “an axe to grind with the government”.
It would be recalled that in an interview with the New York Times, published on March 11, 2014, Monday, Sanusi spoke of his efforts to unravel the whereabouts of the missing $20bn oil money, including a February 11 semi-monthly meeting with bank chiefs on at which he “threatened to open the books of the bankers, to trace the money”.
Sanusi further revealed he suspected some of the banking chiefs in laundering the stolen oil money. His concern grew after some of them refused to give information on their accounts, therefore Sanusi warned them of intention to order “a special examination.”
One of the bankers at the meeting told the New York Times that the CBN Governor made it plain to them that the CBN would need to unravel what was going on, and called for their cooperation.
In panic, Sanusi told the newspaper, several of the bankers went straight to the government, which labours under a sordid reputation for corruption.