BY LAWRENCE ETIM.
In a bid to clear the air on the raging controversy arising from his recent suspension of CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi , President Goodluck. Jonathan on Monday, affirmed that he has powers to suspend the governor of the Central Bank. He also maintained that his action was totally unconnected with the alleged corruption charges raised by Sanusi against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This happened while having an interactive media chat on television last night, President Jonathan equally clarified issues about his intentions for the 2015 presidential elections just as he declared that the country would not break under his watch.
The media chat which lasted exactly 75 minutes was mainly taken up by last week’s suspension of Sanusi as governor of the CBN. He said, “The issue of the Central Bank is quite unfortunate but I will respond by saying that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has absolute powers to suspend the governor of CBN. CBN is not even well defined in the Nigerian constitution. If you look at the Nigerian constitution, you will see that for the President to remove anybody, the president must go through Senate. But if somebody tells you that the CBN is a different country, it is not true because for the CBN governor to change the colour of the Naira, the President must approve and for the CBN account to be even published, the President must approve.
He however maintained that Sanusi is still the governor of CBN and people must know that and that is why there can never be a substantive governor until the issue is sorted out. Sanusi could come back tomorrow to continue his work because the issues raised are issues that the board of CBN with the Financial Reporting Counicl, the authority that has the power to look into the financial transactions of CBN will deal with.
That as soon as the board and the Financial Reporting Council sorts out those grey areas, and if it does not affect him, he would come back to do his work. Assuming that the board of CBN and Financial Reporting Council look into those grey areas and feel that the infractions are grave enough for Sanusi to leave completely, then I will have to go to Senate no matter the issues they raise. I cannot say that I am firing him, it is the Senate. So, I can place those issues before the Senate and if the Senate agrees with the report, and says yes, then he can leave. The issue of suspension and removal are quite different.”