President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday insisted that he has the constitutional power to suspend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor contrary to claims in certain quarters that it is only the Senate that could do so.
Defending the recent suspension of the CBN’s governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Jonathan said he has absolute power to suspend him but conceded that he power to remove Sanusi lies with the Senate.
Speaking during a Presidential Media Chat, Jonathan said, “by virtue of the constitution of Nigeria, the President has absolute powers to suspend the CBN Governor. CBN is not even well defined in the
constitution, in the case of CBN, the President appoints and sends to Senate, but the President has oversight functions”.
“If somebody tells you that the CBN is a different country, it is not true, because for the CBN to change the colour of the naira, the President must approve, and what happens, for the CBN accounts,
because normally when you audit the CBN you publish the report, for you to publish the report, the President must approve, that means the President must accept the report”, Jonathan said.
He condemned the sentiments with which some people have viewed the Sanusi’s suspension, even as he explained that he is still the CBN Governor, pending when the Financial Reporting Council completes
investigations on the 2012 accounts of the apex bank which has remained an issue of controversy.
According to him, “but Sanusi is still the Governor of CBN and people must know that, and that is why there can never be substantive governor until the issue is sorted out. Sanusi can come back tomorrow
to continue his work because the issues raised are issues that theBoard of CBN, with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), should deal with”.
He said since the CBN Governor is the chairman of the CBN board, it is not in the interest of justice and equity to allow him preside over his investigation, hence he was asked to step aside, adding that if he
is cleared by the investigation, he would be called to continue his work.