Written by Benedict Ezeagu
“…Today, Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and Lawyers of Conscience are compelled by the conflicting information being given about the registration of SNG, as well as the unbearable misconducts of Alhaji Lamido Samusi Lamido, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to hold this joint press conference…” – Benedict Ezeagu
CLARIFYING CERTAIN ISSUES ON THE REGISTRATION OF SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG), AND TAKING A STAND ON ALHAJI LAMIDO SANUSI’S UNBEARABLE MISCONDUCTS AND ABUSE OF OFFICE
Today, Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and Lawyers of Conscience are compelled by the conflicting information being given about the registration of SNG, as well as the unbearable misconducts of Alhaji Lamido Samusi Lamido, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to hold this joint press conference.
ON THE REGISTRATION OF SNG
We wish to use this medium to once and for all clarify the issue of the registration status of SNG by formally informing interested members of the public that Save Nigeria Group (SNG) is a corporate entity registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and we have the certificate of registration duly issued to us. And contrary to the wrong impression being given in some quarters, there is no faction in the SNG as of today.
Consequently, all persons who are using the name of the organization without our permission or authorization are violating the law and will be prosecuted for impersonation.
More so, our attention has been drawn to a suit filed by Pastor Tunde Bakare at the Federal High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State with the name of Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and we are taking appropriate legal actions to stop such unacceptable impersonation of SNG. We hereby warn all non-members of SNG who illegally use the name of the organization to pursue their selfish or partisan interests to desist from such forthwith to avoid being trapped by the law.
On Alhaji Lamido Samusi Lamido, the Governor of CBN
Indeed, the monumental financial profligacy, impunity, partisanship, impropriety, bigotry, lawlessness and recklessness so far exhibited by Alhaji Lamido Samusi as the CBN Governor are unprecedented in the history of CBN management and thus, have today made CBN the greatest corporate threat to national security, stability, unity and wellbeing.
The most provocative of his reckless actions is his recent questionable diversion of a whopping N100 million from CBN as a donation to the government of his State of origin, Kano State, “for the victims of the Boko Haram insurgence without the necessary appropriation by the National Assembly and without authorization/approval from the Board of CBN or the President / Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Apart from the illegality of the N100 million donation and the diversion of public fund under his custody, his action is provocative, divisive and unacceptable as it stands out today as the pinnacle of a manifest display of clannishness, ethnic bias and sectarian favoritism a public office holder in Nigeria considering the fact that before the Kano incidents, there have been civil unrest, bombings and fatalities in many other parts of the country such as Abuja, Plateau State, Borno State, Yobe State, Niger State, Adamawa State, Benue State, Nasarawa State, Oyo State to mention but a few, and he did not deem it necessary to make any donation to the victims of the crises in those areas.
In fact, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, CFRN, 1999 (as amended) and the CBN Act do not authorize the CBN Governor to personally give out public money without appropriation and authorization.And this illegal and questionable donation/action is no doubt an effort to usurp the statutory functions of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The other outrageous and unbearable recklessness, illegalities, improprieties as well as provocative and divisive utterances and actions of Lamido Sanusi include:
a) The questionable and unlawful diversion of a whooping N17 billion from CBN in the name of re-purchasing about 80,000sqm of government (NITEL) land situate at the Central Business District, Abuja from one Abubakar Aliyu, the owner of AA Oil, who claimed to have purchased same from NITEL at a meager sum of N1 billion less than four years ago.
b) His resort to base ethnic /religious sentiment in a provocative interview he granted to the Financial Times on 28 January, 2012, where he blamed the emergence of Boko Haram on the 13% Derivation allocated to the oil producing States in the country from the Federation Account.
c) The purchase of N1billion worth of property at No. 1, Missouri Street, Off Colorado, Maitama, Abuja for a ‘unique terraced garden’.
d) The N500 million donation, without appropriation and authorization, to the University of Benin as payment for the honorary doctorate degree the University conferred on him.
e) The printing of about N600billion worth of the country’s currency without legislative and executive approvals in the name of rescuing the troubled Banks in Nigeria.
f) The discriminatory and sentimental treatment metted to some Bank MDs as well as the questionable and contentious sale of their Banks (including Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank, Bank PHB, etc).
g) The use of public fund (CBN money) to promote religious banking (Islamic Bank) in a religiously volatile country contrary to the secular state of the country as stipulated in the amended 1999 Constitution, among others.
By his utterances and actions, Lamido Sanusi has desecrated the sanctity of his office as a public servant and has violated the laws of the land with impunity while manifesting regrettable ethnic and religious bias in the discharge of his duties as the Governor of CBN.
His utterances and actions are unpatriotic and portray him as undisciplined politician (instead of a public servant) engaged in dangerous brinkmanship taking advantage of Nigeria’s fault lines and the indiscipline/impunity that today pervade our public service to overreach the government he serves and to create turmoil in the country. A public office holder is obliged to follow the rules and act in the best interest of the country while carrying out his official national assignment.
There is certain degree of decency and caution expected of a public office holder in a democratic society.Thus,it is least expected of a public official of Lamido Sanusi’s standing, as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, to make utterances or take actions that may likely create anarchy or further divide the country.
In view of all these enumerated extra- budgetary spending, misconducts and official excesses of Alhaji Lamido Sanusi Lamido, we hereby demand for his immediate sack by President Goodluck Jonathan and his subsequent prosecution. He should be sacked for his illegal diversion of public funds, the reckless utterances, provocative promotion of ethnic/religions division and questionable justification of terrorism in the country.
Benedat Ezeagu, Esq.
National Coordinator,SNG/Lawyers of Conscience
Francis Olabode, Esq.
P.R.O.,Lawyers of Conscience