The Good Luck In Our President

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…and so we hear that President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for “various acts of recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of….transparency and financial discipline”.

LAW
Does the President have statutory powers to suspend the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria?
Section 11 (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act which provides for the disqualification and cessation of appointment states as follows:
(2) The Governor, any Deputy Governor or any Director shall cease to hold office in the Bank if he:
a. Becomes of unsound mind or, owing to ill health, is incapable of carrying out his duties;
b. Is convicted of any offence involving dishonesty or any other offence the maximum penalty of which exceeds imprisonment for six months;
c. Is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties under this Act;
d. Is disqualified or suspended from practicing his profession in Nigeria by order of a competent authority made in respect of him personally;
e. Becomes bankrupt or suspends payments or compounds with his creditors.

It is very clear from Paragraph C, that the Governor must cease office “if he is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties under this Act”. The real question is “who has the power to pronounce the Governor guilty of a serious misconduct,” the President? the Act? or the Courts?

It is not within the executive function of the President to pronounce any person guilty of an offence. The action of the President completely violates the constitutional principles of Audi alteram partem which is a principle of fundamental justice or equity in the Nigerian legal system.

Only quasi judicial bodies or judicial authorities have the powers to declare a person guilty.

ECONOMY
Will the suspension have an impact on the Nation’s economy and if it will, what measures will the President take to manage the adverse effect of the suspension on the economy.
If the suspension will have an adverse impact on the Nigerian Economy, would we assume that the Coordinating Minister of the

Economy:
a. Was not invited to give her opinion on the effect of the suspension on the economy
b. Advised against it, but was overridden by superior argument
c. Supported the decision by proffering alternative ways of managing the economy

POLITICS
Does the suspension not discredit the “anti-corruption” campaign of the President, thereby rendering him a hypocrite and guilty of the same charges that he has so “wittingly” leveled against the CBN Governor?
Will the suspension not alienate the President and the PDP from the political class in Kano and perhaps the Northern Region?
Does the suspension not make Sanusi Lamido Sanusi more attractive to run as a Presidential candidate against President Jonathan

COMMON SENSE (that a leader must have)
There are many ways to kill a rat, a truth that former President Olusegun Obasanjo very well knows.
Is the President not aware of the adage that says “he whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad”?
If he is so convinced that the Governor is guilty of serious misconduct, is it not more profitable for personal and political gain for the President to simply hand him over to the EFCC after he retires in June 2014?

MORALITY
Is Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the only member of the President’s Administration that has been accused of “various acts of recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of.. transparency and financial discipline”?
If not, is Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the only culpable one with “bad luck”?
But then, Nigeria is bigger than any one citizen, time indeed will tell.

Isaac Nwankwo
chuzikem@gmail.com

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