The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Lamido Sanusi has described the allegation of financial recklessness leveled against him by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria as a “malicious” and calculated attempt meant to mislead the President into believing that the management of the apex bank was guilty of misconduct and recklessness.
In what could be described as his first official response to the allegations, Sanusi, in a letter to Jonathan said that contrary to claims by the presidency that he was asked to respond to issues raised in the FRCN report, he only saw the “Briefing Note” of the council for the first time when it was attached to his suspension letter.
In the letter, submitted to the president on March 10, a copy of which was made available to journalists on Sunday, the suspended governor said at no time were the allegations in the report sent to the CBN either by the President or the FRCN for comments or explanations.
He said, “On Wednesday 10th March 2014, I submitted a Memorandum to His Excellency, Mr President, with supporting documentation, effectively addressing all the allegations contained in the FRCN Briefing Note, the letter of suspension and the Akingbola Petition.
“Having submitted my response to the President, I am further compelled, following the recent press briefing and comments by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media, as well as numerous other references to the allegations in both local, international and online media, to put to the public my responses, in the interest of transparency, accountability and my responsibility to the Nigerian people.
” Let me also state that I saw the FRCN ‘Briefing Note’ for the first time when it was attached to the suspension letter. At no time was this report sent to the CBN either by the President or the FRCN for comments or explanations.
“A careful examination of the allegations contained in the FRCN Briefing Note to Mr President, will show that each of the allegations could easily have been resolved by a simple request for clarification or more careful review.
“There is no doubt that if the CBN had received the Briefing Note, which was prepared in June 2013, all the misconceptions, misrepresentations and erroneous inferences contained therein would have been cleared.
” I am publishing these responses to enable the general public see that each and every allegation levelled against the CBN under my leadership is false and unfounded, and that many of the allegations were malicious and fabricated, having been designed to mislead the President into believing that the Management of the Central Bank was guilty of misconduct and recklessness.”
On the allegations by former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Mr Erastus Akingbola of fraudulent take over of the bank, Sanusi described them as baseless.
He said, “As for the Akingbola petition, it is a rehash of baseless allegations he has been making since 2010 which apparently he must have been asked to reproduce on February 9, ten days before the suspension.
“It is indeed strange that the CBN Governor can be suspended based on allegations written by a man who ran his bank into the ground and against whom judgement has been obtained in a London court, and who furthermore is facing criminal prosecution at home for offences including criminal theft.”