23 February 2014, Abuja – The All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the presidency of seeking to use its illegal suspension of Malam Lamido Sanusi Lamido as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to divert attention from the allegation of missing 20 billion dollars in oil funds.
In a statement in Lagos, Sunday, by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the way the presidency has been campaigning to malign Sanusi, using the report of the obscure Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, shows that it is working hard to sweep the issue of the missing funds under the carpet and punish Sanusi for daring to expose the fraud.
It said if the federal government had used half the energy it has been deploying to discredit Sanusi toward the investigation of the missing oil funds, the monumental corruption case would have been solved by now.
”Irrespective of the tepid and unconvincing denial by the presidency, it is clear that the main reason the presidency moved against Sanusi is because he blew the lid on the 20 billion dollars funds which the NNPC allegedly failed to remit to the Federation Account.
”Fortunately, discerning Nigerians are not hoodwinked by the Presidency’s choreographed mudslinging against a whistle blower, and the sponsored campaign that amounts to shooting the messenger just because his message is not palatable.
”While the presidency has chosen to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians over the missing oil funds, we call on the National Assembly to get to the bottom of Sanusi’s allegation and save Nigerians from a rapacious and a rampaging cabal that is hell bent on bringing Nigeria to its knees through runaway corruption,” APC said.
The party said the questions that are begging for answers include: What happened to the missing 20 billion dollars? If indeed a part of the funds has been used for kerosene subsidy, who authorized the spending of money that was not appropriated, in violation of the nation’s constitution? Who reinstated the subsidy that had been removed by a presidential directive? If $8.76 billion of the missing money was used for kerosene subsidy, who and who are the beneficiaries, since it is clear that Nigerians are not enjoying any subsidy on kerosene for which they are shelling out at least 150 Naira per litre?
It re-stated its earlier stand that Sanusi’s suspension is unlawful and that it is another dangerous turn in the Jonathan administration’s journey of impunity, lawlessness and double standard.
APC said the drop in the value of the Naira and the fact that the banking sector and other stocks spiralled into the negative, in the aftermath of the ego-driven and illegal suspension of Sanusi, have shown the dangers inherent in politicizing an office that should be insulated from political pressure
”There are just short-term repercussions. The long-term fallout may be the scaring off of foreign investors by the perception of instability in the financial sector and the erosion of the CBN’s autonomy. If and when that happens, a President who has so far failed to uplift his nation’s economy would have succeeded in sabotaging it,” the party said.
On the allegations against Sanusi, it said the federal government should charge him to court, if indeed it is convinced of the veracity of the allegations, instead of convicting him on the pages of newspapers and mob-lynching him through paid hatchet men.