Tuesday, 1 April 2014

State Security Service (SSS) Accuse Suspended Central Bank Governor-Sanusi of Financing Terrorism


Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Suspended CBN Governor
A new twist has been added to the ongoing travails of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Lamido Sanusi, as the Department of State Security Service, SSS, has accused him of financing terrorism. The SSS stated this at the Federal High Court, Lagos, while defending its decision to seize Mr. Sanusi’s international passport.
Mr. Sanusi’s passport was seized on February 20, as he arrived the Lagos international airport, hours after he was suspended as Central Bank Governor by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The new charge, which Mr. Sanusi’s lawyers described as false and baseless, tallies with a similar surreptitious but baseless allegation thrown at the bank chief by a presidential aide. Reno Omokri, the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, had, on February 26, used a pseudonym, Wendell Simlin, to circulate an article that tried to link the recent spike in Boko Haram attack to the suspension of the CBN governor.
Mr. Sanusi, in separate suits, challenged his suspension, and asked for an enforcement of his fundamental rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
During the hearing of the rights’ suit, which continued on Monday, the respondents – the Attorney General of the federation, AGF; the Police; and the SSS – made different claims. The fresh terrorism-related allegation against Mr. Sanusi came from the SSS. The agency said it was investigating Mr. Sanusi for allegedly financing terrorism.

It is not clear how this fresh allegation by the SSS is related to the dubious claims by Mr. Omokri.
PREMIUM TIMES and a few citizen journalists had exposed how Mr. Omokri, using a non-existent alias, Wendell Simlin, created a document linking Mr. Sanusi with financing the terrorist Boko Haram group.
The document was later shown to have been created by Mr. Omokri, with several Nigerians calling for his sack. The presidency has kept mum since the scandal was exposed.
On Monday, however, Mr. Sanusi’s counsel, Kola Awodehin, accused the SSS of falsehood in its new claim against the bank chief, saying the agency had no shred of evidence.
The counsel to the AGF, Fabian Ajogwu, had objected to the suit, urging the court to strike it out for want of jurisdiction.

Mr. Ajogwu argued that the provisions of Section 254 (c) 1 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) ousted the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
He noted that the case before the court borders on the applicant’s employment, saying that labour -related cases are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court, NIC.
“Section 254 (c) 1 (d) of the Constitution vests exclusive jurisdiction on the National Industrial Court, with respect to civil causes or matters touching on employment, labour or industrial relations.
“We respectfully urge the court to hold that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the reliefs sought by the applicant,” he said. The counsel urged the court to strike out the suit. Mr. Ajogwu also argued that the applicant should not, by the suit, seek to restrain the respondents from performing their constitutional duties.
He argued that Mr. Sanusi was being investigated based on the FRCN’s claims. He said the suspended bank chief was being investigated in accordance with the provisions of the law, which the respondents which the respondents had a statutory duty to perform.

Counsel to Sanusi argued that the SSS’ claim of financing terrorism was bogus.
“The allegation against the applicant as to funding of terrorism is an afterthought by the respondents which is not backed by facts, as there is no reasonable suspicion that the applicant committed any crime,” he said. He urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection and uphold the case of the applicant.
The court had on February 21 granted an interim order, restraining the respondents from arresting, detaining, or harassing the applicant pending the determination of the substantive suit. The interim order was sequel to an affidavit of urgency filed by the applicant on the same date. On Monday, the court adjourned ruling on the preliminary objection to April 4.


Culled from:
Premium Times