Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has told President Goodluck Jonathan that he wouldn’t be resigning over his alleged leaking the letter revealing unremitted $49.8 billion oil revenue to the Federation Account.
In a story carried by THISDAY, Sanusi denied Jonathan’s accusation and said the president cannot hold him responsible for a ‘crime’ he didn’t commit.
During a heated phone conversation, the CBN governor outright refused to obey the president order to resign, adding that only a vote by 2/3rd of the Senate was legally able to do so.
Sanusi- whose terminal leave would begin in March – was asked by Jonathan to resign before the close of business last week, Tuesday to be precise.
Sanusi, in his defense, observed that the letter was available at the presidential villa, the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank, so he was wondering why the president was keen on blaming him for the leak when just about anyone could have forwarded the letter to Obasanjo.
Sanusi also said that he was amazed that he was being asked to resign, when the right thing to do would have been to ask those responsible for the missing $49.8bn to vacate their seats.
He also noted that he, the Chief Economic Adviser to the president, had the mandate to break such information bordering on the country’s economic health to the president, and in doing so, he had shown his patriotism to his country.
“He informed the President that it is necessary to deal with the issues and not the letter that had been leaked since it has since been established that it was not $49.8 billion that had not been remitted to the Federation Account, but $10.8 billion, which was still in dispute and by any stretch of imagination was still a large sum.
“Sanusi felt he was being forced out for doing his patriotic duty to his country by drawing attention to the unaccounted funds. He only has two months to go, so this was a ploy to force him out and destroy his career and reputation.
“He knew this and for this reason, refused to throw in the towel as requested by the president,” a source to THISDAY says.
However, the president’s insistence on his resignation has led the CBN governor to seek solace in briefing his close aides at CBN as well as family members. This he has done in fear of the consequences of defying the Number One man of the Federation.
Here’s a brief recap of the happenings which have led us here:
1. Sanusi wrote to Goodluck Jonathan in September 2013, telling him that, along with other equally important issues, the NNPC hadn’t remitted the $49.8 billion oil revenue to the Federation’s account since the past 19 months.
2. Obasanjo raised this issue in his 18-page letter to Jonathan on December 2nd, 2013 and APC took it as an opportunity to call for the president’s impeachment.
3. NNPC lashed out, denying the claims, and accusing Sanusi of ignorance and playing a political game.
4. In a briefing involving Sanusi, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Diezani Alison-Madueke finally re-established to the media that the initial $49.8bn wasn’t accurate, and that it was $10.8 that was actually unremitted. However, Sanusi was aloof still, and said that it was actually $12bn that hadn’t been repatriated by the NNPC.
How do we say…? The saga continues.