Facts has emerged on the circumstance leading to the suspension of the embattled Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as the presidency has claimed through Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria report that a whooping sum of N1.257 Billion was squandered by Sanusi for “Lunch For Policemen” and expenses for “Private Guards” In 2012.
The report exposed bogus payments to airlines to distribute currency nationwide, he also allegedly operated bogus expense heads to hide fraudulent activities, and held an account with a balance of N1.423 Billion for an unknown customer since 2008.
Following Thursday’s suspension of Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, The Advocate has exclusively obtained a copy of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria report that ripped apart the 2012 audited financial statement of the apex bank and exposed the fraud, excesses and wastefulness of Sanusi and the CBN.
Sanusi had over the years projected an image of an anti-graft banker, activist, reformer and crusader against graft and waste in government, as well as the financial sector. Weeks before his ouster as CBN Governor, Mr. Sanusi had accused the NNPC of failing to remit billions of dollars in oil revenue to the federation account, a claim which the NNPC has continued to dispute.
The 13-page Council report emanated following Sanusi’s response to a query issued him in early 2013 by President Goodluck Jonathan over the apex bank’s alarming reckless donations nationwide and its finances.
Whilst describing Sanusi’s response to the President’s query as “a clear display of incompetence, nonchalance, fraud, wastefulness, abuse of due process and deliberate efforts to misrepresent facts…”, the Council accused the suspended banker of several violations including but not limited to carrying out activities with financial implications that are not related to the CBN’s mandate, especially billions of naira in ambiguous payments to invoices referred to as “Centre of Excellence” and “Contribution to Internal National Security”, and the CBN’s claim that it paid N38.233 billion to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc in 2011 for the “printing of bank notes” whereas the turnover of the entire printing and minting company group is N29.370 billion.
The Council also accused Sanusi of rogue payments as air charter fees to Emirates Airways (N0.511b), Associated Airline (N1.025b) and Wing Airline (N0.425b), for the distribution of currency nationwide whereas Emirates does not operate local charter flights within Nigeria, Wing Air is unregistered in Nigeria with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and Associated Airlines did not have a billion naira turnover in 2011 and have no financial statements because the company said it had not had any significant operation in two years to warrant preparing a financial statement.
In lieu of the serious misconduct it found against Sanusi and the leadership of the CBN, the Council urged the President to exercise the powers conferred on him by “Section 11 (2) (f) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 or invoke Section 11 (2) (c) of the said Act and cause the Governor and the Deputy Governors to cease from holding office in the CBN and also direct the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria to carry out a full investigation of the activities of the CBN…”