The suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has responded to allegations levelled against him by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), saying that they are erroneous, full of misconceptions, misrepresentations.
According to him, a careful examination of the allegations contained in the FRCN Briefing Note to Mr President, will show that each of the allegations could easily have been resolved by a simple request for clarification or more careful review. He believes that if the CBN had received the Briefing Note, which was prepared in June 2013, “all the misconceptions, misrepresentations and erroneous inferences contained therein would have been cleared.”
“I am publishing these responses to enable the general public see that each and every allegation levelled against the CBN under my leadership is false and unfounded, and that many of the allegations were malicious and fabricated, having been designed to mislead the President into believing that the Management of the Central Bank was guilty of misconduct and recklessness,” he stated.
In detailed statement made available to the press, the suspended CBN governor said:
“I am compelled to make this public statement to address the various allegations levied against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and cited as the reasons for my suspension from office as the Governor of the CBN on the 19th of February 2014.”
He was thankful to entire staff of the bank saying he had been extremely fortunate to have had a solid and supportive team led by the Deputy Governors and supported by the Departmental Directors, as well as thousands of hardworking and dedicated staff who must be given the credit for all that the CBN has achieved.
According to him, apart from far reaching reform in the banking industry, CBN has continued to produce sterling results and contributed substantially to the Federal Budget.
“In the five years, 2009 – 2013, the Bank contributed N376 billion to the Federal Budget as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).Based on 2012 financials alone, we paid N80 billion to the Ministry of Finance.
“On the basis of the 2013 results and at the request of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME), we paid N159 billion to the Ministry of Finance in February this year; the same month the audited accounts of the CBN were approved by the Committee of Governors (COG),” Sanusi stated.
On the report of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria said the report should have been sent CBN first for response but, it was not sent to the apex bank either by the President or the FRCN for comments or explanations.
Akingbola petition, Sanusi said it is a rehash of baseless allegations the aggrieved Akingbola has been making since 2010 which apparently he must have been asked to reproduce on February 9, ten days before the suspension.
“It is indeed strange that the CBN Governor can be suspended based on allegations written by a man who ran his bank into the ground and against whom judgement has been obtained in a London court, and who furthermore is facing criminal prosecution at home for offences including criminal Theft,” he said.
On the allegation that the CBN made fictitious payments to Emirates Airlines Sanusi said the CBN neither engaged, paid nor claimed to have paid Emirates Airlines. Rather, the CBN engaged and entered into an Air Charter Services Agreement with Emirate Touch Aviation Services Limited, which is a local Nigerian charter service company.A simple enquiry by FRCN would have clarified and avoided this misrepresentation.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, demanded for a detailed forensic audit of all the accounts and financial activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, from 2009 till date,accusing the nation’s apex bank of funding the All Progress Congress (APC).
This was contained in a statement issued by the party’s national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.
In the statement,the ruling party 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 under the suspended bank’s governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
It disclosed that available facts within its disposal of which some had already been published by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) showed that within the period, the apex bank engaged in reckless award of inflated contracts, through which over N680 billion CBN money was frittered away.
The party alleged that the beneficiaries of the contracts consisted of highly corrupt persons ,who had been hiding under the toga of anti-corruption crusaders and whistle-blowers to syphon the nation’s resources to their private pockets.
According to the statement, the PDP said that it had been established that there were huge infractions on the management 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 PDP insisted that the audit must expose the true beneficiaries of over N150 billion doled out as developmental donations, especially as some of the institutions listed as beneficiaries, such as the Bayero University Kano (BUK) have denied receiving the sums recorded against its name by the CBN.
It noted that BUK was widely reported to have announced that it received only N1billion, as against the N4 billion claimed by the apex bank.
It added that its investigation had revealed that the main opposition,the APC and its stalwarts have been the beneficiaries of syphoned CBN money surreptitiously diverted to them by the suspended CBN governor.
The party 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 and that the bank also diverted over N1billion to the APC to open offices across the nation in addition to a N100 million donated each to some chieftains of APC to fund their activities last year.