“Being also deeply concerned about far-reaching irregularities under Mallam Sanusi’s watch which have distracted the Central Bank away from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate; and Being determined to urgently re-position the Central Bank of Nigeria for greater efficiency, respect for due process and accountability, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ordered the immediate suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from the Office of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“President Jonathan has further ordered that Mallam 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.”
When the above official statement was released last week from the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the President, Dr Reuben Abati heralding the end of the banking career of the controversial ex-CBN governor, Sanusi, it was greeted by mixed reactions. While some people see this move by President Goodluck Jonathan as witch hunting, others said that the cup of Sanusi was over full. This second school of thought’s position is that Sanusi ought to have been shown the way out long before now as a result of his ‘attitude’.
Although the general belief is that Sanusi was sacked as a result of graft offences because from the body of the text ending Sanusi’s many years in the banking industry, he has been involved in financial recklessness over the years but we can authoritatively reveal to you that the suspension of Sanusi is politically motivated after all. His relationship with key members of the main opposition parties in the country was his real albatross. Sanusi is said to be very close to the leader of the main opposition party in the country, the All Progressive Congress [APC], Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other party stalwarts like the immediate-past governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki who happened to be his junior in Kings College, Lagos; Lagos State governor, Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola as well as Mallam Nasir El Rufai, amongst others.
This relationship which Jonathan has been monitoring for sometime is said to be one of the major reasons he was sacked. Apart from that, the scandalous philandering act of Sanusi which is unbecoming of a public officer of his status which of course came to the fore just last year was said to have made the president place him on the watch list.
Let us refresh your memory a little with the messy scandal that shook CBN to its very foundation last year as exclusively reported by Premium Times.
‘Twenty minutes to midnight on February 25, 2013, and a day before the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria was due to meet, Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusideveloped a craving for romance – he badly needed a kiss.
The governor, married, with children, grabbed his mobile phone and typed out a message. “Maybe you should come kiss me before board meeting tomorrow,” Mr. Sanusi wrote and then pressed the Send button.
At about 9 a.m. the next day, Mrs. Maryam Yaro, a married mother of two, an assistant director and subordinate of the governor at the CBN, arrived Sanusi’s unnamed Abuja hotel, seeking to keep the date and help address her boss’ craving for a kiss. (Insiders say board members, including those who live in Abuja, are usually lodged in hotels ahead of board meetings).
But by the time Mrs. Yaro left the hotel to return to her official desk at the CBN, the duo had also struck out an arrangement to spend the rest of the week together in Lagos.
So, in the evening of Wednesday February 27, Mrs. Yaro flew to Lagos ahead of Mr. Sanusi and checked into a hotel in the city, skipping work, at taxpayers’ expense, on Thursday February 28 and Friday, March 1.
To keep faith with Mrs. Yaro’s date, the CBN governor arrived Lagos, travelling on a chartered flight, on the night of February 28, and checked into the Federal Palace Hotel, passage and boarding all at taxpayers’ expense.
Both Mr. Sanusi and Mrs. Yaro rendezvoused in the hotel till Sunday when both of them returned to Abuja, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
“…I had such a wonderful weekend,” Mrs. Yaro confessed to the governor while aboard her Abuja-bound flight. “You have revived in me what I thought I lost long ago. I thought I lost the passion to love again,” she claimed.
“Alhamdulillahi. Love you,” Mr. Sanusi responded in a measured tone.
Insiders say repeated violation of the statutory code of conduct for public office holders such as hiring his girlfriends and mistresses without complying with public service rules, dating married and unmarried women within the bank, and flirting with them during official work hours had become defining characters of Mr. Sanusi’s governorship of the central bank.
An official of the bank spoke of how Mr. Sanusi had enthroned nepotism at the bank, arbitrarily hiring girlfriends and relatives and engaging in extramarital relationships with staff.
“This man (the CBN governor) is the most morally bankrupt governor the CBN has ever had,” the official, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution, told PREMIUM TIMES. “Forget all the pretense, he is a shameless man of loose character.”
Investigations by this newspaper revealed that Mr. Lamido hired his latest mistress, Mrs. Yaro, without complying with the CBN recruitment policy that stressed, “all appointments shall be made on the basis of merit, through a fair and open selection process.”
As it is now, no one is sure of the fate of Sanusi as his passport has already been confiscated and the belief in some quarters is that any moment from now, he may be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law but what is sure is that the whole world is waiting to see what the Presidency is up to and Sanusi’s next line of action.