Judge Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the State Security Service (SSS) to return the passport of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Lamido Sanusi, to him and pay N50 million (US$305,000) in damages for detaining him.
Sanusi was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan on 21 February after Sanusi had raised some uncomfortable questions about the US$20 billion that he said the state-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to remit to the government.
Sanusi, who had been in Niger at a meeting of regional central bank governors at the time, was greeted by SSS agents on his return to Lagos, where he was detained and his passport confiscated.
Sanusi's problems are, however, far from over. He is challenging his suspension in court; not, he says to get his job back but instead to make the impropriety of his effective dismissal a matter of record. At the same time, he still faces questions from his opponents about his tenure at the CBN. Sanusi and his team - retired deputy governor Tunde Lemo and deputy (now acting) governor Sarah Alade - appeared before the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, to respond to questions about alleged irregular transactions in 2011-2012.
Meanwhile, the new Central Bank governor, Zenith Bank’s CEO and Group Managing Director Godwin Emefiele, was confirmed on 26 March after a speedy Senate hearing. He takes over from Sarah Alade in June.
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