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Judge’s absence stalls Sanusi’s suit against Jonathan

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi

Hearing in a suit filed by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, to challenge his suspension was on Wednesday stalled by the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

Our correspondent learnt that the judge travelled for a seminar and as a result of the development, the suit had been adjourned to March 19.

Sanusi had in the suit filed by his lawyer, Kola Awodein, SAN, asked the court to restrain President Goodluck Jonathan; the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, SAN; and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, from giving effect to his purported suspension from office, pending the determination of the suit.

He equally asked the court to make an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendants “from obstructing, disturbing, stopping or preventing him, in any manner whatsoever, from performing the functions of his office as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and enjoying in full, the statutory powers and privileges attached to the office.”

Sanusi told the court that “the President’s continuing unlawful interference with the management and administration of the apex bank, unless arrested, poses grave danger to Nigeria’s economy.”

In an affidavit deposed in support of the suit, Sanusi linked his suspension to the discrepancies he reported in the remittances of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to the Federation Account.

He explained that in the course of his duties as the CBN governor, he discovered certain discrepancies in respect of amounts repatriated to the Federation Account from the proceeds of crude oil sales between the period of January 2012 and July 2013.

He added that he expressed concern in respect of the said discrepancies and also informed the National Assembly of same “because they affect the revenue of the federation and the national economy.”

Sanusi maintained that in purporting to suspend him from office, Jonathan was punishing him for the disclosures he made.

The court had on February 26 refused Sanusi’s ex parte motion and instead ordered him to put the President and the other defendants on notice.

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