Soon after the suspension of CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido was announced he granted an interview with CNBC Africa where he responded to the suspension. As usual he responded in his typically uncanny fashion and responded to a wide range of questions on the controversies surrounding his suspension. We highlighted 10 of the best that are worth noting for pundits, analyst and historians.
- On been notified about the suspension: He said he was told about the letter by his office today as he was away in Niamey, Niger Republic along with other CBN Governors of West Africa to meet with the president of Niger and president of Ghana as part of the working group on the West African Currency Zone. The Nigerian Ambassodor to Niger also confirmed he was asked to inform Sanusi of the decision. Letter was also signed by Secretary to the Government and not even the President.
- On Handing over: He said he soon left the meeting and handed over to Dr Sarah Alade (Acting CBN Governor) who incidentally was with him at the meeting
- On Allegation of recklessness from FRC – “I don’t know what they are talking about and when I come back I will see what those allegations are”. He also mentioned that they were in the CBN to look at their audited accounts and asked routine questions which they (CBN) responded to and no feed back was yet to be received from the presidency.
- On FRC being a convenient excuse: He also said “we all know what this is all about as it is a consequence for the step that I have taken…..and this is long overdue I am surprised it took them so long”
- On His concern for the market following the decision: “I hope the Nigerian economy will not be hurt by this and I also hope the Central Bank will be protected….I have done a lot of work on bank stability and would not want to see all of that unraveled”
- Does he think the decision is politically motivated? : His reply is that “it is not for me to comment …the answer to that is obvious”.
- On Whether the removal is illegal: There is a “legal question of whether the President who does not have the legal authority to remove the Governor suspends the Governor and whether suspension is the same thing as removal.
- On Whether he will challenge it in court: In terms of the institution it will be helpful to establish the principle by court and I think that is what we will do. It will be in the interest of the institution for the court to establish once and for all whether the court has the power to do this. The reason is that if it is not challenged then from now the next central bank governor can not be independent fear of being suspended by politicians. I do plan to have the court confirm if that authority exist…and I will challenge it”
- On if he wins the eventual court case: “Even if I challenged it I will not go back to the job… even if I am successful I will not go back
- On his Legacy: “You can suspend an individual but you can’t suspend the truth…and if this is going to bring back the $20billion then that’s fine. I have no regrets or ill feelings”
Watch full video here http://www.cnbcafrica.com/video/?bctid=3229108850001