Nigeria’s suspended central banker overstepped the mark, says his deputy

 

Geneva

EXCLUSIVE: The suspended whistleblower governor of the Nigeria's central bank may have to think again if he hopes senior former colleagues will rally to his defence.

Lamido Sanusi was suspended last month by the country's president after making explosive allegations about embezzlement on a massive scale at the state oil company.

The events alarmed investors and created a sense of scandal around the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. He suspended Mr Sanusi citing "financial recklessness and misconduct" at the central bank and ordered an investigation into him, but many in Nigeria suspect the governor's fate was linked to the claims he had made on an allegedly missing $20bn of oil revenue.

This week, speaking for the first time about the affair, one of the Bank of Nigeria deputy governors, Kingsley Moghalu, was keen to distance himself from his former boss and made clear that he felt Mr Sanusi had overstepped his authority. 

Discussing the Sanusi affair in the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum in Geneva, he told the Independent: "The lesson that can be drawn from it is the limits of central bank independence... There is a very thin line between central bank independence and... political posturing."

In support of President Jonathan's government, he said: "The president of Nigeria and the government of Nigeria have never in my knowledge interfered with the function of the central bank. And therefore I think we need to give them credit for respecting [its] independence."

He added: "The governor began to make very damaging public allegations against the government... allegations that have not been proven, after the president had sent him a presidential query about the finances of the central bank. The government has given a reason for the suspension and that was... to enable an investigation into the allegations against him."

Bizarrely preferring not to mention Mr Sanusi by name, he went on to say: "Somebody in the central bank was taking on an activist political role. That is not our function. Central banks over the world have clear functions and in your country [Britain] and any other civilised country I know that central bank governors operate within certain expectations and constraints and respect those expectations and constraints."

He added that the central bank had managed to contain the market fallout from the president's actions, pointing out that he and his fellow deputy governors were in agreement with Dr Sanusi's internationally well regarded position as an inflation hawk in favour of high interest rates to keep a lid on prices.

"Life is back to normal," he claimed.

However, with the ghost of an investigation looming large over the most powerful banker in the country, and the suspicion among many that he was suspended for speaking out, analysts say Nigeria is far from being in a normal state. 

The deputy governor Moghalu was named as a possible sucessor to Mr Sanusi but in the event the president selected a non-central banker Godwin Emefiele as the governor elect.

Observers said he would be far less outspoken than the high-born Mr Sanusi, a well-connected Muslim and Islamic scholar from the north of the country whose father was Emir of the ancient city of Kano.

Mr Moghalu, who took his PHD at the London School of Economics and is the son of a Nigerian diplomat to Washington DC, is one of three deputy governors of the central bank and said he had no plans to resign. He vehemently denied being under investigation himself, or being accused of any wrongdoing by the report into Mr Sanusi, although newspapers in Nigeria citing the document quote it as recommending the president "cause the governor and the deputy governors to cease from holding office in the CBN [Central Bank of Nigeria.]"

Mr Sanusi earlier this week requested the President reverse his suspension, saying that every one of the allegations levelled against him and the central bank under his leadership were false.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape