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Last updateMer, 28 Jan 2015 10am

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Sanusi Lamido Sanusi: Jonathan orders suspension of Central Bank Governor

Abuja, Nigeria - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in the culmination of the strained relationship between him and the presidency.

In a statement made available to PANA here Thursday, the presidency said President Jonathan has further ordered that Sanusi should hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr Sarah Alade, who will serve as Acting Governor 'until the conclusion of on-going investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the CBN'.

'The President expects that as Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Alade will focus on the core mandate of the Bank and conduct its affairs with greater professionalism, prudence and propriety to restore domestic and international confidence in the country’s apex bank.

'The Federal Government of Nigeria reassures all stakeholders in Nigeria’s financial and monetary system that this decision has been taken in absolute good faith, in the overall interest of the Nigerian economy and in accordance with our laws and due process,' the statement said.

Giving reasons for the suspension, the statement said the President took special notice of reports of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and other investigating bodies, 'which indicate clearly that Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure has been characterised by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline'.

It also cited 'far-reaching irregularities under Mallam Sanusi’s watch', which have distracted the apex Bank from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate; and the need to urgently re-position the CBN for greater efficiency, respect for due process and accountability.

Sanusi, whose tenure is due to expire in a few months' time, has ruffled feathers in the highest echelon of government with his recent accusation that some US$20 billion was missing from the accounts of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), an allegation that is currently being probed by the federal legislature.

Pana 20/02/2014