The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called for a thorough forensic audit of all the accounts and financial transactions of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, from 2009, when Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi assumed duties as governor of the apex bank till date.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Sunday, PDP also demanded that the audit must establish and publish all movement of monies from the CBN accounts such as contract sums, donations and other extra budgetary spending during the period in question.
Mr. Sanusi was suspended as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria by President Goodluck Jonathan last month after a report by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, and other investigating bodies indicted him for financial recklessness and misconduct.
The ruling party said the audit would reveal all contracts awarded by the CBN within the period, the beneficiary companies and persons behind them as well as the value of the contracts and their status of execution.
It further said facts available to it, some of which have already been published by the FRCN, indicated that within the period, the suspended CBN governor engaged in reckless award of inflated contracts through which over N680 billion belonging to the apex bank was frittered away.
It alleged that the beneficiaries of the contracts consisted of highly corrupt persons, hiding under the toga of anti-corruption crusaders and whistle blowers to siphon the nation’s resources.
The PDP said it was convinced that there was mismanagement in the expenditure of the bank’s funds, which made it impossible for it to properly prepare its financial statements since 2012 using International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS.
The ruling party also claimed that its investigation showed that the opposition – All Progressives Congress, APC, and its chieftains were beneficiaries of the siphoned CBN money surreptitiously diverted to them by Mr. Sanusi.
It also alleged that a fraudulent N48 billion contract was awarded to a leader of the APC while N5 billion was further paid to another stalwart of the party as consultancy fee.
The ruling party alleged that the apex bank under Sanusi’s watch also diverted over N1 billion to the APC in addition to N100 million each donated to some chieftains of the opposition party to fund their activities last year.
The PDP said the type of audit it is clamoring for must expose the true beneficiaries of over N150 billion doled out as developmental donations especially since beneficiaries such as the Bayero University Kano, BUK, have since denied receiving the sums recorded against their names by the CBN.
The party noted that BUK was widely reported to have announced that it received the sum of N1 billion only contrary to the sum of N4 billion the CBN claimed it donated to the university.
“Our great party as well as other well-meaning Nigerians are particularly worried by allegations that such funds may have actually ended up as financial support to clandestine groups working against the unity and corporate existence of the nation”, the statement said.
It argued that a forensic audit of the bank would shed more light on how the CBN under Sanusi’s leadership spent N20.202 billion on ‘Legal and Professional Fees’ in 2011, as well as the N1.257 billion spent on ‘Private Guards’ and ‘Lunch for Policemen’ in 2012.
“It will explain to Nigerians how the sum of N23 million and N50 million were spent just to renovate the official residence of the CBN governor, while solving the puzzle of N848 million claimed to have been spent on the purchase of a property from the National Planning Commission even without any transaction agreement”, the PDP said.
The party described as grave corruption, the alleged inconsistencies present in the 2011 and 2012 CBN account regarding the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC); wherein the CBN claimed it paid a total of N38.233 billion to the company in 2011 for printing of banknotes whereas the NSPMC declared a total turnover of N29.370 Billion for all its transaction with all clients (including the CBN).
“The issue of prudence at the apex bank borders cardinally on the health of the economy, the growth and well-being of the entire nation”, the party said.
“Our demand for a forensic audit therefore tallies seamlessly with our firm position on due process and rule law, bearing in mind the imperative of straightening the records and bringing offenders to book, failure of which will catalyse a furious denudation on the confidence of Nigerians in governance, while emitting wrong signals to the international communities, especially, the development partners”.