A Federal High Court in Lagos Friday issued a restraining order on the Attorney-General of the Federation, Inspector-General of Police and State Security Service, their privies or any other law enforcement agencies of the Federal Government â€œfrom infringing on the rightsâ€ of the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Also yesterday, the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led faction of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) summoned an emergency meeting of the Forum to discuss the suspension of Sanusi. The meeting will hold in Abuja on Monday.
Also, reacting, the Kano Emirate Council in a statement condemned the suspension of Sanusi, while the opposition All Progressives Congress demanded the recall of the suspended CBN governor.
The CBN governor, who has been having a running battle with President Goodluck Jonathan over his allegation on the non-remittance of oil revenue to the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was suspended by the president Thursday
The non-compliance with the Public Procurement Act by the CBN as well as the misstatement of the central bankâ€™s 2012 financial accounts were identified as some of the reasons for his suspension.
The court, in a motion exparte dated February 21, 2014, ordered the respondents not to interfere or impose any restriction on the enjoyment of Sanusiâ€™s right to personal liberty and freedom pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.
While adjourning the hearing of the Motion on Notice till Friday, Feburuary, 28, the court also granted Sanusi leave to serve the Originating Summons and other accompanying court processes on the respondents in Abuja.
Sanusi had dragged the Attorney-General of the Federation, Inspector-General of Police and State Security Service to the Federal High Court, praying, amongst others, to give an order restraining the respondents from violating his rights
Meanwhile, the NGF in a statement issued yesterday by its Director General, Bayo Okuaru said that the emergency meeting to discuss the suspension of Sanusi would hold on Monday February 24 at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja by 8 pm.
He added that the meeting will also discuss the issue of dwindling revenue of the states.
In a related development, the Kano Emirate Council yesterday condemned the suspension of Sanusi, alleging that the action was aimed at diverting attention from â€œthe monumental fraud in the oil sectorâ€.
The Emirate council in a statement signed by one of its members, the Walin Kano, Alhaji Mahe Bashir said: “We and many others see the Presidentâ€™s action as a deliberate witch-hunt of the governor for doing his job by letting Nigerians know the alleged fraud going on in the petroleum industry and to divert people attention from this monumental fraud.â€
The Emirate Council called on the federal government to review the suspension of Sanusi â€œin the interest of equity, justice and fairnessâ€.
Wali continued: Despite all the awards and commendation received by Sanusi nationally and internationally, which Nigerians and even the President is proud of, it is our view that the federal government should as a matter of urgency review this issue by following laid down procedure in the suspension of a public officer, for equity, justice and fairness.â€
On its part, the APC Caucus in the Senate demanded for the recall of the suspended CBN governor.
The group also threatened to challenge the suspension which it described as violation of CBN Act in the court.
The caucus in a statement by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, said the suspension was inimical to the process of good governance and rule of law.
While admitting the prerogative of the President to hire and fire, Akume said such action must however, be guided by strict observance of laid down principles in the overriding national interest.
He said if the president was prepared to restore confidence in the oil industry, â€œhe should as well sack the Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke as well as the top management of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Akume said: “The whistle blower who should know it all is being illegally and unconstitutionally suspended to safeguard and protect the perpetrators of corruption in the petroleum industry.
“Now that the President has acted illegally and unconstitutionally, he should also now act legally and
constitutionally by firing the Petroleum Minister and the top management of the NNPC to restore confidence in thesector.”