Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Poverty of Decorum: Sanusi Declines Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Invitation

Ex-CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi:
A Poverty of Decorum
Suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi  has declined the invitation to appear before the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) sitting in Lagos.
In a letter dated March 25, 2014,  Sanusi's counsel, Kola Awodein said "Whilst our client is not averse to an objective investigation by an appropriate and impartial authority into the activities of the CBN during his tenure as governor, or into his own activities as a citizen, our client is constrained to decline the FRC's invitation on the basis of bias, breach of the rules of natural Justice, absence of statutory power, violation of the rule of law, and conduct prejudicial to good public administration and the special position of the Central Bank of Nigeria."
The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, has since suspended further investigation of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Lamido Sanusi.
The decision to suspend the probe of the embattled governor followed the receipt of a notice of the commencement of the legal process in an application before the Federal High Court in Lagos. Mr. Sanusi had asked the court for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the Council from continuing its investigation of him and the CBN.
While this investigation into the former Governor's period at the Central Bank is the right thing to do, we do not see any council that is subservient to the Federal Government that can be totally impartial or exercise fairness. We knew Sanusi would play this game of bias and political retaliation, This goes to show that this man is as banal as a fox.
As part of the political evolutionary trend, it is time in Nigeria to establish Office of Independent Counsel. There is nothing wrong in our political dispensation in learning from other older democracies like United States where they have gone through the same issues in the past.
Nigeria Office of Special Independent Counsel
Research: In 1978, a United States Democratic Congress was determined to curb the powers of the President and other senior executive branch officials due in part to the Watergate scandal and related events such as the Saturday Night Massacre.  They drafted and passed the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, creating a special prosecutor (later changed to Independent Counsel) position, which could be used by Congress or the Attorney General to investigate individuals holding or formerly holding certain high positions in the federal government and in national Presidential election campaign organizations.
Nigerian Justice
As a matter of urgency to meet the rapidly emerging and changing political environment, the Nigeria Congress should assume this investigation by setting up a SPECIAL INDEPENDENT COUNSEL with consultation with the office of Nigeria Attorney General, to complete a full and thorough investigation of CBN under the leadership of Mr. Lamido Sanusi.
  • At Center for Modern Nigeria, we do want to see any indication of political retaliation or vindictiveness against Mr. Lamido Sanusi during this period or in the future.
  • As the custodian of our constitution and democracy, Mr. President and his administration should  ensure that the civil rights of all Nigerians are protected including that of Mr. Lamido Sanusi.
  • In consistence with the good track record of this administration, transparency, dues process and the rule of law must be followed with professionalism during this investigation.
  • Although Mr. Lamido Sanusi lacks decorum; and he treated the office of the Presidency and all Nigerians by extension; with levity, arrogance and indignity; we must treat him with respect and dignity as a Nigerian citizen. 
  • If Mr. Lamido Sanusi is found of any lapses, he must be sanctioned to the fullest extent of the law.
  • No one.  We repeat no one, is above Nigeria.
  • We want to remind Nigerians that, in a democracy, arbitrary decisions and jungle justice by the Authority have no place.
  • The era of dictatorship is over.
We trust this administration to be prudent and to act professionally in the best interest of Nigeria.

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