Suspended CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi wins damages case: court awards him N50million damages
In Lagos, a Federal High Court has stopped the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services from arresting or harassing Sanusi Lamido, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The DSS has been orderd by the court to release Mr. Sanusi’s passport to him immediately while also bestowing the embattled CBN boss N50 million in exemplary damages.
On February 20, 2014, Mr. Sanusi’s passport was seized immediately he arrived the Lagos international airport, just some hours following his suspension as CBN Governor by the President. He was also temporarily put in holding.
Mr. Sanusi challenged his suspension, and that his fundamental rights as a citizen in the Nigerian constitution be allowed.
On February 21, the court granted a temporary order, restraining the respondents from arresting, detaining, or harassing the applicant pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The court presently has ruled, saying the government and its agencies have no basis to arrest or harass Mr. Sanusi. The seizure of the CBN Governor’s travelling documents has also been frowned upon.
During the hearing of the rights’ suit, on Monday, the SSS said it was investigating Mr. Sanusi for allegedly financing terrorism, claiming the investigations the SSS officials carried on him did not last an hour and they never did violate his human rights. He added, as reported by Musikilu Mojeed of Premium Times that the provisions of Section 6 of the National Security Agencies’ Act empowered the Service to impound the international passport of suspects pending the conclusion of investigations.
Before this, an implicating document by Mr. Omokri, using a non-existent alias, Wendell Simlin, linked Mr. Sanusi with financing the terrorist Boko Haram group. When the document was later revealed that it was created by Mr. Omokri, many Nigerians called for the termination of his appointment. But the presidency has been silent over it.
On Monday Mr. Sanusi’s counsel, Kola Awodehin, accused the SSS of falsehood in its new claim against the bank chief, saying the agency had no shred of evidence.
Mr. Awodehin also added that laws were being violated in Mr. Sanusi’s treatment.
“The first to third respondents give conflicting reasons as to the complaint made against the applicant.
“This conflict goes to show that they acted without due process of the law,” he said.
The counsel also argued that the SSS’ claim of financing terrorism was bogus.
“The allegation against the applicant as to funding of terrorism is an afterthought by the respondents which is not backed by facts, as there is no reasonable suspicion that the applicant committed any crime,” he said.
He urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection and uphold the case of the applicant.