Emir Sanusi Raises Alarm Over Increasing Debt In Nigeria

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has raised alarm over the increasing debt in the country.

He stated that among other producing countries in Africa, Nigeria has been on a borrowing bench, “Borrowing domestically to fund current expenditure”.

He added that the growth of Nigeria was driven largely by rising commodity prices and debt, and the module has reached the logical limit such as the collapse in oil price.

He said according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the Federal Government of Nigeria is spending 66% of its interest revenue on debt, which means only 34% of its revenue is available for capital expenditure, recurrent expenditure and development.

The Emir made this known at the Kaduna State Investment Summit with the theme “Making Kaduna Investment Destination of Choice”.

He said the 2017 budget presented by the Federal Government is a budget that goes for more debt.

He noted that, “As a country, we must understand that the module of government borrowing and spending has reached its limit, therefore growth must only come from investment”.

The Emir crtiticised leaders that go to China to sign MoU and come back with debts forgetting their areas of development.

“A nation and a state is only transformed by vision, once that vision is lost every other thing around the vision collapses”.

He added that the growth of an economy will not come by borrowing.

In his keynote address, he urged the northern leaders to focus more on education and health sector especially in the north.

He asked them to use their resources to deal with the issues of poverty in their region.

The occasion was well attended by industrialists, traditional rulers, media owners and government functionaries.


Source: Channels TV

#KadInvest: Statement claiming Meningitis is God’s wrath is horrendous – Sanusi

Muhammad Sanusi II, the emir of Kano, says statements made by Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, on meningitis are “Islamically incorrect”.

Yari had said “stereotype C” meningitis is God’s way of pouring his anger on Nigerians for their “nefarious activities”.

But speaking in Kaduna at the #KadInvest 2.0 on Wednesday, Sanusi said as a man who is well read in Islamic law, he knows that Yari’s statements are incorrect.

“For us to address social policy,we have to reclaim our religion, we have to know what our religion actually says, as opposed to what culture says, and we have to have the courage to go through the path that all societies went through, which is to stand and challenge intellectually, world views,” Sanusi said.

“Some of the examples are horrendous. I’m sorry about a current issue yesterday. 200 people died of meningitis in a state, the governor was asked and he said it is God’s curse on us for the sin of fornication, which apparently does not happen in America, which is why they don’t have meningitis.”

The revered monarch went on to say that 90 percent of the problems around the north are self-inflicted and can be solved.

“How have we reduced ourselves, what have we done as a people, that we have placed ourselves in a situation where simple things, a medical issue…you don’t have vaccines, say you don’t have vaccines.

“Treat those who have contracted it, don’t give these kinds of explanations. But this the mindset. I have a degree in Islamic law, and I can tell you that is not an Islamically correct statement to make.

“These are the kinds of things that we have; and when we talk about a difficult environment, we realise that 90 percent of that difficulty, we can address, because it is self-inflicted.”

Emir Sanusi calls for the inclusion of Arabic into mainstream education

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has called for Nigeria’s educational system to allow for the inclusion of Arabic education into the mainstream.

The emir said this on Monday while delivering the Thomas Hodgin Memorial Lecture at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The lecture, titled ‘Tradition, Modernization and Reform – The Institution of Emir as Change Agent’, focused on the reform agenda the monarch is pursuing in Kano, which he hopes will see the codification of family law, reforms in education and the use of Zakkah, the mandatory alms giving in Islam, to set up foundations to systemically deal with some of the problems that bedevil Northern Nigeria.

On education in particular, the emir said it didn’t make sense and was indeed counterproductive that millions of children and adults who can already read and write Arabic are classified as illiterate.

The refusal to recognise and value this learning, he said, is a costly by-product of British colonialism, which only recognised English-language literacy.

According to him, it feeds the structure of power and inequality that currently exists and leads to resentment because these millions, who in many nearby countries would be counted as literate, feel marginalised. The practical outcome of this is of course not only a population of millions that is limited from being useful and productive, but one which is susceptible to manipulation by extremists, he said.

He therefore called on reform of the system that would allow some sort of certification for this learning which then allows those with this education to join mainstream schools to learn. The other option he said would be to employ teachers who could teach various disciplines in Arabic and make them part of the mainstream.

When asked during the question and answer session why he was not making a case for learning in indigenous languages like Hausa, he said in an ideal situation, that would be his preference; but insisted provisions have to be made for the millions that are already literate in Arabic. Ignoring these people, he said, has serious social consequences some of which are already evident.

On family law, the emir cited the recent existence of child marriage in countries such as the U.S. to underline the need for broad social acceptance of change, which he is pursuing by fostering a process of debate between Islamic scholars, lawyers, NGOs and wider society.

Pointing to overcoming resistance to polio eradication as an example, he said that engaging communities directly and winning trust brings results. In the past, he suggested, loud campaigning and stigmatising of traditional values had proved counterproductive and held back progress.

Prominent personalities that attended the lecture included Professor Murray Last, the first person to obtain a PHD from a Nigerian University; a former head of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega; and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmud.

Thomas Hodgin was an Oxford trained historian who engaged deeply with Nigeria and is believed to have done more than anyone to establish the serious study of African history in the United Kingdom. He was married to Nobel prize-winning chemist, Dorothy Hodgkin.

Islamic Rights Group backs Emir Sanusi’s call for regulation of polygamy.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has supported call by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II for a law to regulate marriage to second wives.

The emir was reported to have said on Monday that the Kano State Government was preparing a law to make it mandatory for men seeking to marry second wives to satisfy certain conditions.

A statement issued on Wednesday by MURIC’s Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan, said the move was in conformity with the provisions on marriage as contained in the Holy Qur’an.

MURIC said, although Islam allows a man to marry up to four wives, the permission was meant to provide security for widows and other unmarried women.“It is an open secret that women outnumber men in all parts of the world.

“Islam therefore permits men to marry more than one wife in order to provide shelter and welfare for those women who would have been left single.

“In the first instance, the Qur’an enjoins those who do not have the capacity to maintain even a single wife to abstain from marriage until they can become economically strong enough.

“ The Qur’an also allows a man who already has one wife to take a second woman, a third or even a fourth but with the condition that such a man must have sufficient means to care for them all,’’ MURIC said.

MURIC said that what the Kano state government was trying to do was to give interpretation to the verses of the Quran.

“This becomes necessary in view of the fact that many Muslims misinterpret the Quran by marrying more than one wife when in reality they cannot even maintain one wife comfortably.

“The result is the production of children who end up as social miscreants,’’ MURIC said.

MURIC commended the vision and courage of the Emir of Kano as well as the forthrightness of Kano state government for evolving “this great idea.”

The group called on other states which have Muslim majority population to emulate the policy, as it is capable of reducing poverty, raising standard of living and increasing the number of literate citizens.

Educate the girl child, stop building mosques – Sarkin Kano

The emir of Kano Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II has called out wealthy northerners to stop building mosques and to stop early marriage of the girl child and start educating female children, since majority of these girls can barely read and write.

He made the call on Thursday in his keynote address at the 3rd international conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, organised by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano.

“I’m just tired of people coming to me to say I want to build a new mosque. You know, we keep building mosques and our daughters are illiterates.

“So, my appeal is that if you really want to help Kano, don’t come to me with a request to build a N300m mosque because I have enough mosques everywhere. And if I don’t have a mosque, I’ll build it myself. If you really want to help, go and educate a girl child in the village.”

According to him, over 50 per cent of girls between the age bracket of 18 and 20 were given out in marriage in this part of the country.

He added that the worrisome dimension of it was that 75 per cent of them could neither read nor write.

Calling for a review of laws to prevent early marriage and encourage girl-child education, he said,

“It is not a mere coincidence that this is where you have the highest levels of illiteracy, early marriage, divorce and the highest levels of domestic violence…

“People need to understand that the law has to change. If you look at the medical data on maternal health, girls who get pregnant below the age of 15 are five times as likely to die as girls who get pregnant at the age of 20. Those who get pregnant under 18 are twice as likely to die as those who get pregnant at the age of 20. So, it is important that we look at this issue of early marriage.” PUNCH reports.

The Cable: Did Sanusi get his facts wrong on CBN?

Muhammad Sanusi II, the emir of Kano and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recently claimed that the CBN has been illegally funding the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

In his claims, Sanusi said “the CBN-FGN relationship is no longer independent. In fact, one could argue their relationship has become unhealthy.

“CBN claims on the FGN now tops N4.7 trillion — equal to almost 50% of the FGN’s total domestic debt. This is a clear violation of the Central Bank Act of 2007 (Section 38.2) which caps advances to the FGN at 5% of last year’s revenues. Has CBN become the government’s lender of last or first resort?”

Sanusi also asked questions as to whether CBN is a lender of “last resort” or “first resort”, asking why the bank is lending money to a federal government that has trillions in its treasury single account (TSA).

Following Sanusi’s allegations, the CBN said “it is rather unfortunate that some people have chosen to play to the gallery and to make statements to disparage those in leadership at this time in total insensitivity to the larger interests of the Nigerian economy”.

The bank went on to say “the seed of our current economic crisis was planted by the failure of those who occupied public office in the past,” apparently referring to Sanusi, who led the bank for four years.

Garba Shehu, who speaks on behalf of the president, also said Sanusi “doesn’t have his facts as far as those issues are concerned”.

Shehu went on to make some claims on the emir’s speech at the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development.

TheCable has taken time to fact-check the categorical claims made by the emir and Shehu as regards government lending, and what the law stipulates.


According to Shehu, “that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account” but “the overdrawing is within limits”.

“The overdraw does not exceed 1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he (Sanusi) did, that the account was overdrawn by 4.5 trillion”.

Sanusi, on the other hand, said the government has overdrawn its limits, and has violated section 38.2 of the CBN Act of 2007.


According to section 38, sub-section 1 and 2, of the CBN Act, “the Bank may grant temporary advances to the Federal Government in respect of temporary deficiency of budget revenue” and “the total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five per cent of the previous year’s actual revenue of the Federal Government”.

By law, the federal government can only take an advance of five percent (of its previous year’s revenue) to fund budget deficiencies. This means the federal government can only borrow five percent of what it made as retained revenue in 2015 to fund 2016 budget. Anything above the five percent is illegal.

Federal government retained revenue, according to CBN

The questions to then ask are: How much did the federal government make in revenue in 2015? How much is five percent of the amount made? And how much has the CBN lent the federal government?

According to CBN statistical bulletin, available on the CBN website, the federal government retained revenue for 2015 was N3.431 trillion. Five percent of this is N171.55 billion.

This means that the government can only seek an advance of N171.55 billion from the CBN.

But according to CBN’s own data, mined from its statistical database, the CBN is seen to have lent as much as N4.7 trillion to the federal government in 2016.

Sanusi’s presentation, as obtained from the Savannah Centre, highlighted government’s lending in terms “Treasury Bills & TB Rediscounts, Nigerian Converted Bonds, Overdrafts to Federal Government and Claims on Nonfinancial Public Enterprises”.

Lending to FG

Lending to FG, according to CBN Data (Click to expand)

According to CBN’s data, the closing balance (lending) at the end of October 2016 amounts to N150 billion treasury bills, N1.906 trillion converted bonds, N2.104 trillion in overdrafts, and N553 billion to non-financial public enterprises (as highlighted above).

This brings government lending to N4.713 trillion, as against the N171.55 billion stipulated by law.


According to CBN revenue and lending data, and the CBN Act of 2007, the apex bank has actually been funding the Buhari administration above the legal limit.

EXCLUSIVE: Obasanjo, Okorocha, Sanusi, Ooni of Ife, Others slay at the #SokotoDurbar

Omojuwa.Com was ably represented at the Durbar ceremony organized to commemorate the 10th coronation anniversary of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muammad Sa’ad Abubakar, which kicked off on the 2nd of November.


In attendance were all dignitaries including politicians and royal fathers from all parts of the country. The Durbar which came in last in a 4-day long celebration drew international attention to the Seat of the Caliphate, Sokoto State.


Among some of the dignitaries were; Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, HOR Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Kwara State Governor Abdulfataah Ahmed, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Former Deputy HOR Speaker Emeka Ihedioha amongst others.


Apart from the ceremony, the event was an opportunity for the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal who was the speaker of the house representatives in the last administration to showcase and publicize some of his legacy projects which after inspection were commissioned by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.


Security was top-notch as armed forces in conjunction with other sister agencies ensured the state was under adequate security due to the ravaging Boko Haram attacks in the state in recent times.


Sokoto state, heavily laden with a vast and rich historical and cultural background seized the opportunity to show off some of it’s heritage to visitors and tourists from all parts of the world. The Caliphate happens to be one of the biggest in northern Nigeria. However, with untold stories of the Jihad among other historical struggles.


It is rumored that over 700 Horses and Camels participated in the colorful event. And with confirmation from the Omojuwa.Com correspondence, that rumor is not far from the truth.


The Durbar, like this one is usually a common event set up to celebrate special occassions in northern Nigeria. It is also an event that dates back to the pre-colonial history of the Hausa-Fulani people across the country.


Below are some of the pictures from the event:



































#SultanAt10: Don’t build airports when you can’t pay salaries – Sultan tells Governors

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 11 has enjoined Nigerian leaders especially the State Governors to check themselves and focus more on projects that could be of benefit to the people.

He gave the advice on Thursday, while speaking at the International Symposium on the Sokoto Caliphate as part of the activities marking his 10th anniversary of ascension to the throne as the 20th Sultan of Sokoto.

The Sultan decried a situation where political leaders do lots of wrong things hiding under politics.

He particularly frowned at misplaced priorities, wondering why a governor that is struggling to pay workers salaries for months now woukd be considering building an airport.

It will be recalled that the Governor of Benue state, Samuel Orton, has announced the resolve of his administration to build a N38 billion cargo airport in Makurdi.

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In series of tweets, Imam Imam, Media Aide to Governor Aminu Tambuwal, quoted the Sultan as saying, “We want to call on our leaders to check themselves especially the Governors and I am very serious about this.

“Why should we have proliferation of airports when the roads used by the common is in terrible shape?

Governors, please check yourselves. You have many misplaced priorities.

“Why should a Governor build an airport of N38 billion when you can’t pay salary?

“Injustice by leaders at all levels is a threat to our existence. Without justice we can’t make progress.

“People hide under politics to do lots of wrong things against the state. Don’t let them get away with it.

“There are many issues in this country that require adequate attention. Among the most important is to tackle security.

“It is our duties to tell our political leaders that this is what the common man is saying.

“Please, our leaders , do what is right.”

Sultan Abubakar also lamented insecurity across the country, calling on the federal government to consider convening security summit that will have all stakeholders in attendance and devoid of a jamboree.

Imam tweeted further, “There are many issues in this country that require adequate attention. Among the most important is to tackle security.”

The Sultan said he has in the last 10 years been focusing “on education, health of our people, and building understanding among all Nigerians.”

He assured that “We will continue to do more for our people, much more than what we have done in the last 10 years.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who declared the symposium open, commended the Sultan’s efforts in promoting peaceful co-existence among Nigerians in the last 10 years.

He prayed to God to continue to guide and give him more wisdom to carry on with the task of promoting harmonious relationship among Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and religious differences.

Earlier in their different speeches, the keynote speaker, Prof Murray Last; Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11, chairman of the occasion, Prof Shehu Galadanchi and the host Governor Aminu Tambuwal, had congratulated Sultan Abubakar and appreciated his commitment to peace and peaceful coexistence.

Emir Sanusi Meets Pope Francis In Italy

The Emir of Kano His Highness M. Sanusi II, met with His Holiness Pope Francis yesterday in Assisi, Italy….The Pope Francis who took part in the final meeting of the World Day of Prayer for Peace on Tuesday, 20 September -was very excited to meet the Islamic leader.

The World Day of Prayer for Peace has concluded the 3-day event which saw the participation of over 450 religious leaders of different faiths who gathered to pray for peace and strengthen dialogue in the spirit of Assisi.

‘Lagos more valuable than Niger Delta’ – Sanusi

Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said that Nigeria is better off with Lagos than with the Niger Delta despite the oil deposits in the latter.

Sanusi also condemned Nigeria’s long dependence on oil as a sole source of income and the determination of some persons to divide the nation over the oil.

The Lagos story is a story of what Nigeria can do with itself – transparency, consistency, regulations.
That’s why today Lagos state is 30% Nigerian non-oil GDP, and Lagos can do without oil. This country is better off with Lagos than with the Niger Delta. Let’s not make that mistake. We should be together as a country,” the Emir wrote via Instagram on Monday, September 5, 2016.

Every part of the country is important. But, let us not be so obsessed by a resource, because we have had the commodity driven model, and we are blind to the potentials of an alternative model.

Lagos doesn’t need oil. What is oil anyway? It is a raw material. You don’t drink it. You need it to move your vehicles. Now, you have electricity. You need it to fill your generator. Now you have solar power, and biomass.

The future of oil is not there. So, those few people who are trying to break up this country over oil, after sometime that oil will be worthless,” he added.

The Niger Delta has been the centre of crisis due to the activities of militant groups, many of whom seek to stake a superior claim to the oil in the region.

Reported Probe Of Sanusi, Soludo Untrue– Presidency

The Presidency has refuted social media reports that the tenures of Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II and Prof. Charles Soludo, as Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governors, would soon be probed by the Federal Government.

The reports alleged that the Federal Government had concluded arrangements to probe the tenures of the two former CBN governors over their views on the state of the economy.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, however, in a tweeted message, said the presidency was not aware that the Emir and Soludo would be probed for offering suggestions to the president.

“The check I made today indicated that the presidency is unaware of the reported probe of Sarkin Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11 and Prof.Soludo

“Where did that report come from? Under our constitution which President Muhammadu Buhari swore to uphold, it is not a crime to offer suggestions,’’ he said.

Credit: dailytrust

Avoid The Jonathan Error, Sanusi Warns Buhari

The current Buhari-led administration may end like the Jonathan administration if it fails to retrace its footsteps, the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi II, has warned.

Sanusi, who was the chairman, Special Session at the 15th Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning, said if the Federal Government toes the way of the last administration, it will end up like it.

He said the economy created terrorism, following the government’s inability to create employment opportunities for the over 80 million youths in the country.

He lamented that the country has not been able to attract investments, saying that the example of Lagos State typifies what Nigeria can achieve.

He warned those he described as “clamouring to break up the country because of oil” to stop the agitation, stressing that oil would soon become insignificant globally.

The emir said, “There is nothing we are facing today that we did not know would happen. We made mistakes, many of them deliberate. We ignored every single warning.

”We should not continue to blame the previous administration, as we have also made some mistakes in the current administration.

“We must retrace our steps; otherwise we may fall into the same trap we fell the last time when the government was always right.

“The bottom line is that if your policy is wrong, it is you that must change.”



Recover Stolen Funds, Prosecute Looters, Sanusi Tells Buhari

The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has advised the Federal Government not only to recover looted funds from individuals and groups, but should also prosecute culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.

He gave the advice in a lecture he delivered on the deregulation of the downstream oil sector and Nigeria’s economic development at the National Defence College, Abuja on Wednesday.

He called on the Federal Government to ensure that those who looted the nation’s treasury were punished for their actions.

Sanusi said that it was not enough for those who diverted huge amounts of money from the nation’s treasury to be made to return what they stole.

The emir said that the right thing to do was to recover the stolen funds and imprison the culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.

He said that the ongoing campaign against corruption and the intensified onslaught on insurgency demonstrated the government’s commitment to economic development.

The emir stated that the current economic recession facing the country was self-inflicted.

He said that the fact that the economy was in recession should not be a surprise since it was a product of bad policies.

Sanusi said that the country was made bankrupt by unrealistic policies and failure of those in charge of the government over the years to take corrective measures.

He said, “Nigeria is bankrupt; we are bankrupted by a policy that was foolish, that was unrealistic, and unsustainable, and by all means our refusal over the years to listen.

“We are surprised that we have an economic recession; we are actually surprised that we are in recession? We created the recession.”

The former Governor of the CBN, who commented on the issue of the removal of fuel subsidy, said that it was a scam designed to benefit a few in the country.

He faulted the claims that that subsidy was meant to benefit the poor.

The emir said that the country was losing $20m on every 30,000 metric tonnes of kerosene imported into the country.

Credit: Punch

“I Never Gave Dasuki N40billion Donation” – Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi

All these accusations and counter-accusations is beginning to get worrisome. Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has denied claims that he gave the office of the embattled former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki N40 billion while he served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He denied the claims in an interview with The Cable

“This is completely untrue. In the first place, I understand the laws of money laundering. And it is a criminal offence. The central bank is the chief regulator charged with ensuring we put an end to money laundering. This is partly why we started our cashless Nigeria project and why I started the BVN project. I would never authorize that amount of cash
to be moved to the office of the NSA or to anyone even if it was in their account.
I do not know where they are getting these strange stories. I was removed from the CBN in February 2014, and to the best of my knowledge, the EFCC is probing disbursements allegedly made made in late 2014 and early 2015 before the general elections, if indeed they happened. I find it difficult to believe that this could happen in the CBN that I know but we have to wait and see what the investigations come out with. Certainly whoever is linking me to this did not even bother to look at the dates of the alleged transactions. I know nothing about them, period. We never gave cash to anybody. If we did we disclosed it in published accounts under CSR. Our interventions, be this to educational institutions or security services, took the form of clearly identified projects or specified procurement, done through well laid-down procedures, including competitive bidding, award of contracts, and collection of no-objection certificate from the due process office. We did not give cash to anybody. The total amount disbursed by the CBN on capital projects in my five years was N55 billion. And this included contracts for CBN branches and our CSR interventions mainly in the universities and secondary schools. How can anyone suggest that we gave N40 billion to NSA?” he said

Bayero family, Emir Sanusi Settle Out Of Court

In a dramatic turn of events, a Kano Prince, Salim Bayero who dragged the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi II to court last week over plot by the emir to tamper with the structure of centenary old palace has instructed his Attorney to discontinue with case.
Prince Bayero’s Attorney, Sanusi Umar Sadiq told reporters today that the royal family have resolved to settle out of court.
Sadiq said that already he has filed a withdrawal notice in line with the directive, adding that the matter is slated for hearing Thursday.
“Bayero family have agreed to settle out of court and we have file withdrawal notice before the court.” Bayero’s lawyer Said.
Last week a Kano High Court Friday restrained the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II from either demolition or tempering with any structure in the Kano Emir’s palace pending the hearing of motion on notice.
The Presiding Judge, Justice A.T. Badamasi also restrained the Emir and the Emirate Council from giving quit niotice or evicting any person residing inside palace known as Gidan Rumfa until the determination of the substantive application.
The order restrained ‘the first and Second Dependents/ Respondents from giving quit notice or evicting any person resident in the Emir’s palace by virtue of being or Bayin Sarki pending the determination of the substantive application’’.
Justice Badamasi further directed the parties involved to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit.
However, briefing newsmen on the development, Counsel to the plaintiff, Barrister Sanusi Sadiq alleged the emir and the Emirate council were seeking to destroy the grave yard which housed the tomb of 13 former Kano Emirs.
Sadiq said the plan to demolish the structures in the palace was capable of killing the ancient tradition Kano Emirate council was known for.


Credit : Vanguard

Emir Sanusi Responds To Those Opposed To His Marriage Of An 18-Year-Old

The marriage of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido to an 18-year-old Adamawa princess has been the subject of several articles, feminist ire and social media chatter.

In the piece that follows, the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor explains why his choice of spouse shouldn’t really be anyone’s cup of tea.

I am sure NC members all have their views and have kept quiet out of (appropriate) deference to our right to make our individual choice. Obviously I do not need to explain anything to anyone in a purely personal matter but a few points are worthy of note:

The lady in question is 18 and therefore legally of age to marry under all laws and certainly under Muslim law.

She is proceeding for her undergraduate education in the UK in January. She had an A in computer science in her O levels and plans to get a degree in computer science.

Each and every one of my wives is a university graduate and some have worked and then stopped and in each case the choice was purely theirs.

It is a tradition in Kano that emirs and princes in choosing wives consider issues beyond the individual. The family is in every sense a social unit. My predecessor was married to princesses from Ilorin, Katsina and Sokoto.

The relationship between the late Lamido of Adamawa Aliyu Musdafa the father of the current Lamido is well known. Lamido Aliyu was the first emir turbaned after emir Sanusi I and they remained close until Sanusi’s death.

My own relationship with the current Lamido dates back to 1981 when he was Ciroma and commissioner for works. By the way the Lamido and I are not illiterates we know what we are doing and he does have a PhD in Engineering.

My own mother was married in Adamawa and lived there for more than two decades and I have eight younger brothers and sisters from there.

It is therefore natural that if I choose to marry from another kingdom Adamawa would be the first choice for me and I am extremely happy to strengthen these long historical bonds.

The young lady in question gave her free consent and even after the contract the wedding will not happen for a few years. By then she may be 21. If she freely consents to this I do not know on what moral grounds anyone has a grouse. She is an adult, she gave her consent, and her education is not being in anyway interrupted.

The real issue is that people do not accept cultural difference. And you can see it in the approach to these issues. I am supposed to be urbane and western educated. Yes but I am not European. I am a northern Nigerian Fulani Muslim brought up in a setting exactly like the one my children are being brought up in.

If you read this and it improves your understanding of this issue that is fine. If it does not just remember it is not your life, it is not your daughter and you are not my wife therefore it is not your business.

I obviously cannot stoop to the level of responding publicly to these kinds of articles. I have always been an advocate of girls marrying after maturing. I personally like the minimum age of 18 even though I understand those who say 16 is fine and indeed this is the law in most so called advanced countries.

Is this something that I expect a European or western trained or feminist mind to appreciate or endorse? Not at all. But has any American been bothered about my views on men marrying men or women marrying women who frankly I find primitive and bestial? No and my views do not matter. These are cultural issues.

Even in Nigeria I have heard all this stuff as in Pius article about “north” and northerners.

Again it is a failure to respect difference. There are parts of this country where parents expect their daughters to live with their boyfriends for years and actually get pregnant before they marry. It has become culture. We do not have that in the north and if your daughter gets pregnant before marriage she brings nothing but shame to the name. But we do not issue condemnations. We agree that this is how they choose to live. And I can give many other examples.

When people use the term libido they do themselves injustice. First of all it shows how they view women and marriage. Women are nothing but the object of sexual desire. Marriage is nothing but sexual gratification. Well I am sorry but in my tradition it is not. Beauty and attraction rank third after religion and lineage in the choice of a wife.

They see an 18 year old young lady. I see a princess of noble birth whose mother is also a princess, and who has been brought up in a good Muslim home. This is the kind of woman that is prepared for giving birth to princes and bringing them up for the role expected of them in society.

Marriage is both social and political. Expanding the links of Kano which have already been established by my predecessors through inter-marriage with Katsina, Sokoto, Ilorin, Katagum, Ningi, Bauchi etc to Adamawa is an important and significant step and this is obvious to anyone with a sense of how royal families work and Ibn Khaldun’s sociological concept of Asabiyyah.

When the Emir of Kano marries it has to be something beyond what he personally desires to what is appropriate for that position and the expectations of the people he represents. You don’t just pick up any girl on the street. And by the way, for those who shout libido, sex is cheap and available everywhere in all shapes and sizes and all colours if that is what they want. And all ages too. Marriage is a very different proposition. The mother of your children has to be something other than, not at least much more than a mere object of sexual fantasy. But if you do not know that you need to buy yourself a brain.

I have daughters. And they know they can only marry from certain backgrounds. I always prefer family. When my daughter wanted to marry Mouftah Baba Ahmed’s son and she asked me, knowing my views on family, I told her Mouftah is family. And this is not about me and Mouftah or me an Hakeem or Nafiu. No. It goes back to Baba Ahmed and Emirs Sanusi and Bayero. And the same rule applies to my sons. And it applied to me as well.

It is, I am sure, very strange that I should even bother to comment on this. But it would be hypocritical for me to just keep quiet so long as these things are being posted and commented upon explicitly or in a snide manner. There was no secrecy in the marriage fatiha. The date was fixed and it was to be done in the central mosque after Friday prayers.

The day before we had a tragedy in Saudi Arabia and decided the fatiha must be very low key as a mark of respect for the dead. All traditional rulers in Adamawa were there, as were governors and commissioners, members of my own emirate council and Adamawa people. There is nothing here to hide or be apologetic about.

The emirs of Adamawa have shown love to my parents and grandparents and it is a sign of my appreciation of their love that I marry their daughter. This is the highest statement of friendship and loyalty on both sides.

Again if you understand this, this is fine. If you do not, buy yourself a brain, A la Pius.

In any event this is my one and final and only comment on this. And I am making it out of respect for NC members.


Emir Sanusi, Ganduje, Lead Prayers For Buhari, Nigeria

Hundreds of Muslims including the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, on Thursday offered special prayers for sustainable peace and stability in Kano state and Nigeria.

NAN reports that the special prayer session, held at the Kano Central Mosque, was led by the Chief Imam of Kano, Prof. Sani Zaharaddeen.

The prayer, organised by the Kano State Government in conjunction with the Kano Emirate Council, was attended by Imams of all Juma’at Mosques in the state.

It featured the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, followed by special prayers for Allah’s intervention to bring about lasting peace, stability and security nationwide.

In his remarks Governor Ganduje said said the current security challenges in the country necessitated the prayers, adding that it was principally aimed at seeking God’s intervention for sustainable peace in the state and Nigeria at large.

Similarly, the Emir prayed for President Muhammadu Buhari to steer the country out of its present economic predicament.

He also prayed for the new service chiefs and the military to win the war against insurgency in the country.

Sanusi Reviews PwC Report, Says Report Confirms $18.5bn Was Diverted

Former Central Bank Governor and now Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II who blew the lid on the missing NNPC money has reviewed the recently released PWC auditors report on the missing NNPC money. He shared his thoughts in a piece titled ‘Unanswered questions on Nigeria’s missing oil revenue billions” published in the Financial Times yesterday May 13. Read what he wrote below
Just over a year ago President Goodluck Jonathan suspended me from my position as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria after I questioned an estimated $20bn shortfall in oil revenues due to the treasury from the state oil company. As I said then, you can suspend a man, but you cannot suspend the truth. The publication last month of a PwC audit into the “missing billions” brings us a step closer to it.
When I was central bank governor I raised three broad questions. First, did the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation remit to the government the entire proceeds of its crude oil sales? Second, if it did not, is there proof of the purpose to which the unremitted amounts were applied? And third, did NNPC have the legal authority to withhold these funds?
Contrary to the claims of petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the audit report does not exonerate the NNPC. It establishes that the gap between the company’s oil revenues between January 2012 and July 2013 and cash remitted to the government for the same period was $18.5bn. And it goes into detail about the NNPC’s account of how it used that money, which raises serious questions about the legality of the state oil company’s conduct.
The auditors say a significant part of the unremitted funds is supposed to have gone towards a kerosene subsidy that had been stopped two and a half years earlier by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. His decree never appeared in the official gazette, leading some to question whether it ever had legal force.
Evidence disclosed in the report suggests this is a sideshow. The executive secretary of the agency charged with administering subsidies confirmed that, acting on Yar’Adua’s orders, it had ceased granting subsidies on kerosene. There was no appropriation for such a subsidy in the 2012 or 2013 budgets.
Throughout all this, Nigerians paid 120-140 naira a litre of kerosene, far more than the supposed subsidised price of 50 naira. Yet the state oil company withheld $3.4bn to pay for a subsidy that in effect did not exist. I have consistently held that this was a scam that violated the constitution and siphoned off money from the treasury.
The second major item raised in the report relates to the transfer of oil assets belonging to the federation to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
NPDC has paid $100m for these assets, from which it extracted crude valued at $6.8bn but paid tax and royalties worth $1.7bn in the period scrutinised by the auditors. PwC was unable to establish how much of the remaining $5.1bn should have been remitted to the government. But the report showed that, along with the private companies NPDC partnered with, it was extracting crude worth billions of dollars but yielding very little revenue for the treasury. I was investigating related transactions when I was suspended.
The third major item is a claim of $2.8bn by NNPC for expenses not directly attributable to crude oil operations; PwC said “clarity is required” on whether such upfront deductions from remittances to the federation accounts are allowed, or whether the money should have been remitted to the government. Finally, there are duplicated ex­penses, “unsubstantiated” costs, computation “errors” and tax shortfalls; a total of $1.48bn has to be refunded.
Of the $18.5bn in revenues that the state oil company did not send to the government, about $12.5bn appears by my calculations to have been diverted. And this relates only to a random 19-month period, not the five-year term of Mr Jonathan, the outgoing president.
Nigerians did not vote for an amnesty for anyone. The lines of investigation suggested by this audit need to be pursued. Any officials found responsible for involvement in this apparent breach of trust must be charged.
The writer is the emir of Kano and a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Emir Sanusi Reacts To PWC Audit Report

A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, has reacted to the recent audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers on the alleged missing $20 billion oil money, saying the report has confirmed in the first instance that at least $18.5 billion was indeed missing.

Mr. Sanusi faulted the petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who said the report had exonerated the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, earlier accused of diverting the money.

In an opinion article published by the Financial Times of London, Mr. Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano, said the argument that the outstanding amount was used by the NNPC for apparently unlawful purposes such as kerosene subsidy, does not dismiss the notion that the NNPC illegally withheld billions of oil dollars from the government.

“Contrary to the claims of petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the audit report does not exonerate the NNPC. It establishes that the gap between the company’s oil revenues between January 2012 and July 2013 and cash remitted to the government for the same period was $18.5bn,” Mr. Sanusi said.

The former CBN governor said of the $18.5bn in revenues that the state oil company did not send to the government according to PwC, “about $12.5bn appears by my calculations to have been diverted”.

“And this relates only to a random 19-month period, not the five-year term of Mr Jonathan, the outgoing president,” he wrote.

As CBN governor, Mr. Sanusi had accused the NNPC of failing to pay about $20 billion in oil revenue to the government between 2012 and 2013.

The government denied any money was missing, even before an investigation. Mr. Sanusi was later fired by President Goodluck Jonathan.

On his suspension by the president, Mr. Sanusi said he had made it clear that “you can suspend a man, but you cannot suspend the truth”.

The publication of the PwC audit report into the missing billions, he said, has brought the nation a step closer to the truth.

He said the report has suggested lines for further investigation into the matter, and urged the Buhari government to follow the leads and ensure anyone found culpable is punished.

“Nigerians did not vote for an amnesty for anyone,” he said. “The lines of investigation suggested by this audit need to be pursued. Any officials found responsible for involvement in this apparent breach of trust must be charged.”

Mr. Sanusi noted the various duplicated expenses, unsubstantiated costs, computation errors and tax shortfalls listed in the report against the NNPC.

The former CBN governor said although PwC report concluded that a significant part of the unremitted funds were used to finance kerosene subsidy, such decision lacked presidential approval as former President Umaru Yar’Adua had stopped kerosene subsidy at the time.

In spite of the subsidy claims for which NNPC withheld $3.4 billion for the period, Mr. Sanusi said Nigerians were still made to pay an average of N120 and N140 per litre of kerosene, far more than the supposed subsidised price of N50.

“I have consistently held that this (subsidy of kerosene claim by NNPC) was a scam that violated the constitution and siphoned off money from the treasury,” the former CBN chief said.

On the transfer of oil assets belonging to the federation to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, the upstream petroleum industry subsidiary of the NNPC, Mr. Sanusi expressed regrets that his removal did not allow him conclude the investigation he was doing on that transaction.

He said although the NPDC paid about $100 million for the assets, from which it had extracted crude valued at $6.8 billion, it had only paid about $1.7 billion as tax and royalties for the period under review.


Obasanjo Recommends Soludo As Finance Minister To Buhari

General Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the historic March 28th presidential elections have turned the political structures of the PDP on its head in a manner that marveled many within the country.
However, the uncertainties surrounding the staffing of the incoming Buhari administration appears to pose a more intriguing scenario. This is as sources say the horse trading for the sensitive ministerial positions within the Buhari administration has already commenced.

Ex-CBN Governor, Charles Soludo is said to have been presented by President Olusegun Obasanjo as the new Minister of Finance for the Buhari administration. But some APC big men are not happy…

Soludo had served as a member of the economic team for the Obasanjo administration prior to becoming the governor of the CBN.

Soludo’s presentation to the incoming administration as the likely minister of finance is reported to have raised eyebrows within the inner circles of the APC – who explained that Soludo remains a card carrying member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, a party that hates the APC with passion. They complained that Soludo cannot be allowed to reap where he did not sow. But Soludo is not really an APGA man, he only went to Anambra to contest governorship election and has since left.

It is also believed that APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is not comfortable with Soludo but since he has a lot of respect for Obasanjo, he is open to further discussion ahead of May 29.

Corruption is Way Too Much Under Jonathan’s Government –Emir Sanusi

The immediate past governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the reigning Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has declared that massive corruption is still being perpetrated by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. This was as he stood by his earlier disclosure that $20billion was missing from the account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Sanusi, who disclosed this while being interviewed by Christine Amanpour on CNN, maintained that the presidential candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, was right on the level of corruption that is going on in the country at the moment.

According to Emir Sanusi, “Yes, General Buhari is right on the level of corruption in the country and we need to address this sufficiently. We have not helped the situation by living in denial (that the situation does not exist). I don’t want to dwell on this because of the time that we are and we are close to an election.”
Sanusi stressed that corruption in the country was massive and needed to be addressed sufficiently.
While maintaining that about $20 billion was missing from the account of the NNPC, which was not remitted to the Federation Account, Sanusi said: “This has not been addressed adequately and from the account of the Corporation, about $20 billion was not remitted to the federation account. We need to address this.”

“I have achieved everything that I could achieve. So, what is there to be afraid of?” Sanusi asked.

Sanusi Says Issues Around Missing $20bn Unresolved

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, said there are still a lot of questions yet to be answered concerning the missing $20bn oil money. Sanusi, who is currently the Emir of Kano, said the federal government is yet to adequately address the issues surrounding the missing oil money.

He said during an interview with Christiane Amanpour on the CNN on Wednesday, that the level of corruption in the oil sector was still high. Sanusi had last year raised the alarm about missing $20bn but was removed shortly after as CBN governor by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Read More: Punch

Boko Haram: Every Muslim Leader Must Speak Up Now – Emir Sanusi

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has challenged every Muslim leader in the country to speak up so as to put an end to the menace of Boko Haram insurgency in the country.

“Silence will not be a solution and will not solve the problem or be a solution to major threats facing the coun try,” the emir said.

Speaking yesterday in an interview with CNN, he said that the federal government needed to eradicate poverty and create more employment opportunities in the country, stating that there are certain condition that have been created to make it possible for Nigerian youths to be radicalised.

Answering questions on a statement made by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC)), Gen Muhamadu Buhari, to the effect that ‘’if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria,” he said only few people controlled the state’s resources for their personal interest.

The emir said: “For a long time, the Nigerian state has been captured as corrupt. The Nigerian political elite must recognise that need, and if this does not change, the country cannot survive indefinitely. There have to be more investment in infrastructure, health care, education and other major sectors of the economy. The state cannot just exist to make some few people very rich.

“Corruption is an old story in Nigeria; the story has always been bad. Corruption has hit the country badly. I have spoken a lot about this in the past, I don’t want to say much about these because it is close to election. I don’t want to deviate to politics. Gen Buhari is right.’’

Answering a question on the allegation of the missing $20 billion when he was the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), he said: ‘’My position in the Central Bank was always that there was this gap of $20billion between absolute reconciliation and the federation account, and I raised a lot of other issues that, I think, have not been adequately discussed and addressed sufficiently, and one of them is the appropriation by the National Assembly.

‘’I think all those issues need to be addressed and redressed properly, and the government should begin to close all the loopholes that can lead to corruption in the government revenue.”

He pointed out that the country was suffering the impact of the inability of the government to stop the illegal withholding of revenues from the federation account.

‘’The country is paying the price today: oil price has crashed; currency has been devalued; government revenues are in a very bad shape. Whichever way, this government or the opposition has to deal with it.’’

Emir suggests the way forward: ‘’I think what we need is to have both federal, state and local government focus; a focus on growth and economy that will create jobs and understand that there is a strong connection between political culture and violence.

“Corruption is creating opportunity for some people in the country to get rich and shooting up inequality between the rich and the poor. If the federal government does not recognise this, then it will be very difficult to develop,’’ he concluded.

Publish Forensic Audit Report Of Missing $20bn In NNPC – APCPCO Tells Jonathan

The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government, to live up to their flaunted belief in the rule of law and due process, public probity and accountability, by acceding to the request of the National Assembly to submit the forensic audit report from KPMG on the missing $20 billion and go ahead to publish same in mainstream newspapers for Nigerians to assess or query the degree of transparency involved in the controversial transaction.

“Why should the President and the PDP develop the feet of clay like an immovable Colossus when the representatives of the people in the National Assembly asked for copies of the forensic audit report, which public outcry forced the government to procure in the first place?” queried Malam Garba Shehu, APCPCO Director of Media and Publicity in a signed statement on Monday in Abuja.

“So many respected experts on the national economy have condemned the wanton waste of the country’s hard currency earnings at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Worse still, those in charge have treated Nigerians with impunity by hiding the facts relating to petro-dollar trade from the taxpayers. Some of them have been gallivanting and globe-trotting around the world in luxury while their compatriots languish in poverty and squalor,” Shehu said.

The APCPCO Spokesman questioned the audacity of the President, PDP and NNPC in disobeying the NASS request to scrutinise the KPMG audit of an alleged grossly corrupt government agency (NNPC).

“Is the NNPC a sacred cow? And should the President be an umpire in a game to which he’s a contender, or a judge in his own case?” Shehu queries.

“Is the President and his Petroleum Minister telling Nigerians that no wrong has been done in terms of stealing of public funds? If corruption was established in any form, is anyone listed for punishment? It is pertinent to put all these information in the public domain for third party verification. The KPMG report funded by taxpayer’s money is itself a public property. And until this is done, the NNPC under Jonathan shall remain in public consciousness the abattoir for corruption, immodesty, dishonesty and impunity.”

Sanusi/Soludo: Where to Find the Unaccounted Billions By Omoh Gabriel

When in late 2013, Lamido Sanusi, then Central Bank governor wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan  asserting that about $20 billion was not accounted for by NNPC, many Nigerians dismissed the claim with a wave of the hand. The Federal Government, incensed by the claim, appointed an audit firm to carry out a forensic audit of NNPC account.

The report has passed a verdict that no money was actually missing. In fact, an audit report will always come out with the fact that no money is missing. Many still do not understand the basis on which Sanusi and in more recent time, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Sanusi’s predecessor, accused the NNPC of billions of dollars leakage from the federation account.

In real terms, these figures are not found in any books nor can they be found lodged in any account. They are equally not imaginary figures. They are broad estimates of what the nation has lost as a result of the use of discretionary powers by the powers that have held the nation hostage for years.

For years now, stealing of oil from pipelines has been rampant and quantifying the amount surely is in the region of billions of dollars. But each time, the government pleads helplessness. How can a nation’s major source of revenue be allowed to be under the control of known thieves? Yet, a country that has a viable navy came out to tell the world that rogues are stealing oil. Are these thieves ghosts, and the vessels they use both invisible and invincible?

Read More: Vanguard

I Got A Slap For Exposing Theft – Emir Sanusi

His Royal Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said that he was once slapped for exposing stealing when he discovered that a matron at his school, Saint Ann Primary School, has been stealing from his school box and confronted her which earned him a slap from the angry matron.

Emir Sanusi stated this yesterday in Kano during an interview. He recalled his past experiences most especially at his alma mata, Saint Ann School, and disclosed that he was about seven or eight years old when he and his colleagues discovered that their biscuits and other provisions repeatedly kept on missing. He added that he and his colleagues came to the conclusion that the matron who had access to their belongings must be stealing from them.

Read More: leadership.ng/news

Sanusi’s Claims Were Incorrect- Auditor General

The Federal Government ordered forensic audit on the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has indicted the national oil company for various questionable transactions.

Highlights of the recommendations by the audit firm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PwC Nigeria, which conducted the audit, asked the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, the upstream subsidiary of the NNPC, to refund a total of $1.48billion (about N248.6billion) to the Federation Account for various unreconciled transactions.

The Auditor General of the Federation, AuGF, Samuel Ukura, who said he was presenting the highlights of the report at the request of President Goodluck Jonathan, pointed out that it was not his responsibility to present such audit reports to arms of government other than the National Assembly in line with the Constitution.

Read MorePremium Times

Jonathan Begs Sanusi For Support In Feb Polls

As part of his ongoing presidential campaign in the northern part of the country, President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday visited the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, in his palace, seeking for his royal blessing and support for his second term aspiration.

Recall that the duo fell apart after the President suspended Sanusi as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Prior to his emergence as the Emir, reports say there were unconfirmed moves by Presidency moved ensure that he did not emerge.

DAILY POST learnt that during the Wednesday visit, Jonathan congratulated Sanusi on his installation and condoled with him and the people of the emirate on Bayero’s demise.

He told the traditional ruler that he was in his palace to formally introduce himself, Vice President Namadi Sambo and other PDP candidates in the election.

“I am here to seek your royal blessing and to reassure the people of Kano that the PDP is totally committed to developing the country,” he told the monarch.

In his response, Sanusi thanked Jonathan for the visit and expressed the hope that his campaign in the state would be hitch-free.

Source – Daily Post Ng

Boko Haram ‘will be defeated’, says Sanusi

The Emir of Kano has expressed optimism that the Boko Haram insurgency which has claimed some 13,000 lives will soon be over.

“I say help is on the way. Terror must and will be defeated,” Muhammad Sanusi II tweeted. “All it requires is the good leaders, uncommon courage and unrelenting determination, and victory will be ours.”We will together see the end of them and their reign of terror,” Sanusi said.

The President & the CBN Governor: in defense of institutions- Ayisha Osori

imagesI thought I had nothing more to say. That after 5 years of writing weekly, everything that I could possibly say about Nigeria, had already been said. But I find that when it comes to Nigeria – heartbreak country –there will always be new lows.

There have been many things written and said about the removal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria but not enough about three things: the importance of institutions; the personalization of office; and the ‘clean hands’ argument.

There is a reason Obama’s first key message to Africa as President was “Africa needs strong institutions, not strong men. Yet, with the summary removal of the CBN Governor, the President of Nigeria took a bulldozer to the foundation of CBN’s independence which is critical for institution building, a healthy fiscal regime and the economy.  It is not a coincidence that over the last 30 years, the number of countries with independent central banks increased from 20 to more than160.

Regardless of what we think about the relationship between previous administrations and past CBN Governors, until now, no one ever blatantly yanked off the veil of doubt about the CBN’s independence from the Presidency. There is a reason why after over two hundred years of US democracy, no President – even with constitutional powers, has ever removed the head of the Federal Reserve Board. One tried – and it earned him impeachment proceedings.

The problem with not waiting for the CBN Governor’s term to be over in June and then prosecuting him on the basis of the FRC report is that the timing leaves the President open to the accusation that he has no respect for the checks and balances necessary in a real democracy. In a country where ‘I am loyal’ is a salutation, successive Presidents may expect a CBN Governor who is loyal to them and not to the responsibilities of the office. It means that the public; witnesses to the crude and anti –constitutional removal, may presume that the new CBN Governor is a ‘yes man’ of the worst kind.

This brings us to the issue of increasingly blurred lines of distinction between occupiers of a position and the position. It is a dangerous norm in Nigeria to personalize public office – for a person to take on a role today and the next, become known to all, even parents, only as ‘DG’, ‘HM’ or ‘Honorable’. It is this inability to distinguish between person and position that has contributed to the degradation of our institutions. If the President, his advisers and supporters could distinguish between individual and ‘office’, they would understand that regardless of the alleged virtue of their position today, there could be a different type of President and a different type of Governor in the CBN 10 years from now and by setting this dangerous precedent, the independence of the CBN has been compromised.

There is a maxim in law – ‘he who comes to equity must come with clean hands’. It means that a plaintiff who brings a case before a court seeking justice must also not be guilty of the same offense. There seems to be a presumption that the disclosure about billions of dollars missing from oil revenue remittance is wrong because the Governor got a share or that the controversial CSR spend is linked to the missing billions. No. In the application of the maxim, the bad conduct that is condemned must be part of the transaction that is subject of the lawsuit. Yet this maxim is being used as a defense for the illegal removal of the CBN Governor. This line of thinking leads us deeper into the trap of brazen embezzlement of public funds which we find ourselves in. There is already a tacit understanding that only the compromised or compromiseable can get into the highest offices. Yet we want the compromised and compromiseable to have no personal thresholds. In summary, Nigerians with a track record for honesty (saints as political realists call them) cannot get into office, but we expect the sinners who get in to be honourable and never rat on gang members.

The Economist’s ‘What is wrong with democracy?’ says one reason why so many democratic experiments have failed recently is the emphasis on elections to the detriment of other essential features of democracy (such as building independent institutions). “The power of the state needs to be checked and the first sign that a fledgling democracy is heading for the rocks often comes when elected rulers try to erode constraints on their power – like the President did by illegally removing the CBN Governor from office. No amount of obfuscation about suspension and removal will change that. Weak institutions and a refusal to adhere to our written laws are major factors in our continued underdevelopment and social and political decline. Until we insist that laws are respected with no personal exceptions for individuals in power, amendments to our constitution will not help. As James Madison argued about the working of democracy, “you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” This goes for every President and every CBN Governor.

Views expressed are solely the author’s