Nigerian central bank governor suspended amid corruption allegations

Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan suspended central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, citing financial recklessness and misconduct.

An investigation of Sanusi will follow, but critics say the suspension is because of a memorandum Sanusi released to the Senate Committee on Finance earlier this month. The statement said that $20 billion in oil revenue was unaccounted for by the National Petroleum Corporation.

Sanusi told Reuters it was not up to him to comment on whether the suspension was politically motivated, but that he thought the answer was obvious.

President Johnathan had already requested that Sanusi resign late last year, but Sanusi refused. According to the Africa Report, he said he intended to serve his full five-year term set to end in June 2014.

Sanusi has been an outspoken critic of the Jonathan administration’s efforts to curb corruption since he became governor in 2009. He has been largely respected for his implementation of various reforms and was named central bank governor of the year for 2010 by Banker magazine.

Dr. Sarah Alade will serve as Acting Governor until the ongoing investigations into breaches of enabling laws is concluded.

Jonathan nominated Godwin Emefiele, managing director of Zenith Bank, to be next central bank governor, Reuters reports. If the Senate approves, he will start in June when Sanusi’s term expires.

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