by Oge Okonkwo
The international passport of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the suspended governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been reportedly seized by the State Security Service (SSS).
However, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity,Reuben Abati on Thursday said he was not aware of any directive to arrest the suspended CBN governor.
Abati, who stated this in Abuja while fielding questions from State House correspondents, denied any knowledge on the purported arrest order by the Federal Government.
He, however, maintained that any person or organisation indicted under the enabling act of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria must face prosecution.
‘‘I’ m not aware of any directive that he (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) should be arrested as of this moment, I’m not aware of that.
‘‘But, of course you know that under the enabling act of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, where an indictment is established and all that, the law could take its course.
‘‘But, as of this moment, I’m not aware of any directive that he should be arrested.’’
Abati also dismissed the assertion in some quarters that the suspension of Sanusi was illegal and ill-motivated.
According to him, those describing the removal of Sanusi as illegal are referring to the Section 11 Subsections 2-F of the CBN Act which talks about removal of the Governor of the CBN.
He, however, stated the suspension of Sanusi by the President was not in violation of the CBN Act because Sanusi was not removed as the Governor of the CBN, but suspended from office.
‘‘When you say the illegality of his suspension, I do not understand what you mean by that, although I am aware that some people have been saying ‘oh, this is illegal, this is illegal’ but it is not.
‘‘The people who talk about illegality, they are referring to Second 11 Sub Second 2-F of the CBN Act.
‘‘Now under that provision, the reference is to removal of the CBN governor by the president and there is a qualification there, saying that provided that removal is supported and endorsed by 2/3rd majority of the Senate.
‘‘But what the president has done, is not removal, it is suspension. You know you do not read the provision in isolation, you read them together and the interpretation Act, if you read all of these provisions together, the thrash point is that he who hires can also have the power to suspend.
‘‘So, if you have the power to appoint, you also have the power to suspend. What has happened is not removal, it is suspension and that is perfectly within the purview of the law.’’