Nigeria Seize Passport of Ousted Central Bank Governor

Nigeria Seize Passport of Ousted Central Bank Governor

From AFP Via The Botswana Gazette

Nigeria has seized the passport of ousted central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, an ally of the outspoken government critic said Friday, a day after he was removed from office in a move that sparked fears of economic turmoil.

President Goodluck Jonathan suspended the widely respected central bank chief on Thursday over allegations of misconduct, a move many analysts saw as politically motivated.

Sanusi, who learned of his suspension while at a regional bankers’ meeting in Niger, flew back to Lagos and was met by officers from Nigeria’s main intelligence branch, according to Nasir el Rufai, a former cabinet member and Sanusi ally.

Rufai told AFP the intelligence agents allowed Sanusi to leave the terminal, but seized his passport.
“His passport is still with them,” Rufai said, explaining that he had been in contact with Sanusi continuously on Friday.

The intelligence branch, known as the Directorate for State Services, was not available to comment. Sanusi has dismissed the allegations of misconduct against him and said he believed he was removed because of his attacks on the powerful state Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Sanusi, a vocal critic of entrenched corruption in Africa’s top oil producer, publicly accused the NNPC of misappropriating $20 billion (14.5 billion euros in public funds).

The allegations were met with fierce denials from the NNPC, regarded by many as the epicentre of graft in Africa’s most populous country.

He had been applauded by an array of economists for cleaning up a rotten banking sector that approached collapse following the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008 and for aggressive moves to protect the Nigerian naira.

Read more at The Botswana Gazette