Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lamido Sanusi: His Foreign Investment and his Face-off with the Nigeria Constitution

President Jonathan and Lamido Sanusi
The president is the Chief Executive Officer of the nation. On his shoulder lies the heavy burden of carrying this nation with all the inherited economic rot after many years of dictatorships and bad administrations.  Success or failure, he is responsible for whatever happened in his administration on his watch. His name in Nigerian history book will forever be linked to his administration, for better or for worse.  In order word, the ball stops in his court. 
At Center for Modern Nigeria, we will give Mr. President the benefit of the doubt at his response to the litany of excesses at the Central Bank of Nigeria, that we are recently privy to following the exit of the Former CBN Governor. 

We refuse to see this as a weakness but rather a strength of magnanimity at how this was handled. Undoubtedly, this magnanimity, has been exploited by Mr. Sanusi and his fiendish friends, against the president as we have seen in their effrontery and challenges to the presidency and to Nigeria constitution.  Mr. Sanusi has challenged the constitutionality of the powers of the president to call him to order.
We want the president to stamp out corruption by waving the magic wand; while nobody wants to play part in the house cleaning as our social responsibilities.  This corruption is a mess bequeathed by many years of dictatorships. If Mr. Sanusi can invest and spend money like there is no tomorrow and continue to accuse NNPC of corruption, then something is wrong. Nobody is above the law.  Mr. Sanusi's spend drift has tarnished his credibility.

This administration must investigate all the issues raised by Mr. Sanusi related to the NNPC accounting and the absurd expenditures on the legislature, to name a few. We want NNPC investigation to extend to Obasanjo era. The report should be made public.

Mr Sanusi has not only literally slapped our faces, he has spit on all Nigerians by his actions. Mr. Sanusi has defied Nigerians and he has challenged us to hold him responsible for his spend drift.

We are particularly concerned among others, with the Investment in the International Islamic Management Corporation of Malaysia.  As we write this report, we are still scratching our heads about this investment and Mr. President's response at the knowledge of this atrocity.  Honestly, we neither rationalize nor make any sense of both.  We will not second guess the president on his decisions as the Chief Executive of the State given the information available to him. As the chief custodian of our constitution he is entrusted by the electorates.

The report says
"........contrary to section 34 (b) of the CBN Act 2007 which provides that the CBN shall not, except as provided in Section 31 of the Act, inter alia, purchase the shares of any corporation of company, unless an entity set up by the approval or authority of the Federal Government. 

But CBN in 2010, acquired 7% shares of International Islamic Management Corporation of Malaysia to the tune of N0.743 billion. This transaction was neither brought to Mr. President's attention nor was a board approval obtained before it was entered into."

We are still scratching our heads at Center for Modern Nigeria as we write this report and cannot make a sense of it. In another language, what this Islamic investment meant is that Nigeria is saturated with enough investments and needed no more.  
There are serious unemployment problems in Nigeria that is threatening our national security.  Our failure to address and alleviate the poverty level is giving rise to kidnappings for ransom, armed robberies, 419ers, and other economic frauds in high places. 

And all CBN could do is an investment in an Islamic Bank in Malaysia, so they can create employment for the Malaysians !!  This type of investment is no different from the Dictators stashing their loots in foreign banks.

We want this investment recouped as fast as possible. Mr. Sanusi must own up to his recklessness.

At Center for Modern Nigeria, we wait to see the outcome of this imbroglio. We assert that an assault on our constitution, and on Mr. President, the custodian of our democracy, will not stand.  As imperfect as our system is, we will continue to nurture this democracy to maturity.  All these distractions shall pass.

These developments are unacceptable.  No one is untouchable. Definitely not Mr. Sanusi.


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