FRCN’s probe is vicious witch-hunt—Sanusi

The suspended  governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi,  says he is the  target of a vicious witch-hunt and relentless victimization being prosecuted and fronted by the Federal Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), acting outside of the rule of law and well beyond its scope of responsibility.

He vowed yesterday that he would only appear before an impartial authority  to investigate him and his tenure at the apex bank.

Mallam Sanusi who,on Thursday, declined an invitation to appear before the FRCN mandated to probe his tenure, wondered whether the council    ”is the appropriate statutory body to conduct such an investigation.”

Speaking through his   media consultants,Celine Loader, Sanusi, made reference  to the enabling statute of the FRCN  Act 2011, particular Sections 7, 8, 11, 25, 28, 58(2) and 62 which said  “it does not give the FRCN the authority and the powers to conduct the investigation it seeks to undertake.”

Celine Loader  queried the intent of the FRCN  and the source of its  mandate,saying the council “has already prejudged what it now purports to be investigating, thereby compromising its integrity and the integrity of such investigation.”

It  added: “The credibility of the purported investigation is further undermined by the fact that, in reaching its prior conclusions and recommendations contained in the Briefing Note, the FRCN neither heard nor provided Sanusi with the opportunity to respond to the allegations that led to the unfounded conclusions contained therein.”

This pre-existing bias, it claimed, amounts to a “breach of the rules of natural justice, the absence of statutory power, the violation of the rule of law and the prejudicial conduct by the FRCN all point to an obvious witch-hunt and victimization against Sanusi Lamido who has already been controversially suspended from office on the strength of erroneous allegations by the same FRCN.”

It  said that   after making  weighty allegations, conclusions and attendant recommendations in its Briefing Note dated June 7, 2013 to the President, which formed the basis for Sanusi’s controversial suspension, the FRCN ”is now setting itself up as ‘judge’ and ‘jury’ in pursuing a purported investigation for which it has no authority, competence nor mandate.”

Citing words like  “incompetence”, “acting outside the object clause of the CBN”, “nonchalance”,”fraudulent activities”, “wastefulness”, “abuse of due process”, and  “deliberate efforts to misrepresent facts”, used by the FRCN against Sanusi  in its Briefing Note  and recommending to President Goodluck Jonathan “to cause Sanusi and the Deputy Governors of the CBN to “ cease from holding office in the CBN, so that the opposition to the Federal Government does not take advantage of the information and use it to attack the government.”

On Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of  FRCN Mr. Jim Obazee while reacting to Sanusi’s absence from the investigation maintained that Sanusi’s absence cannot stall the investigation since the investigation is not targeted at Sanusi but at the CBN. The Nation

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