— March 31, 2014
Suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on Monday challenged the federal government to produce evidence that he is a major financier of Boko Haram or stop malingering his reputation.
The embattled CBN governor, who also denied the allegation of financing terrorism levelled against him by the Jonathan administration, insisted that the government had failed to substantiate the allegation.
Sanusi, made this submission through his counsel, Kola Awodein (SAN), on Monday at the resumed hearing of his fundamental human rights enforcement suit he instituted at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
However, the trial Judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba has fixed April 3, 2014 to deliver ruling in the suit.
Justice Ibrahim Buba reserved ruling in the matter after lawyers representing parties argued and adopted their briefs in support and against the suit.
It would be recalled that Sanusi had filed the suit against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Bello Adoke; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and the Department of State Security (DSS) seeking perpetual injunction restraining the security agencies from arresting him without following due process.
He had anchored the suit on his arrest and detention for about one hour at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja by DSS operatives upon arrival from Niger Republic shortly after his removal was announced.
Moving his preliminary objection to the suit, the counsel to the AGF, Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) maintained that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit considering Section 254 (C) (1) (D) of the 1999 Constitution, which empowers only the National Industrial Court (NIC) to adjudicate on the subject matter.
The lawyer also submitted that Sanusi’s claim was constitutionally ungrantable as law enforcement agencies could not be perpetually restrained from carrying out their duties.
He added that there was an investigation that was being carried out on Sanusi by law enforcement agencies, apart from the numerous queries already issued him by the federal government.
“My Lord, this suit is speculative, hypocritical and an attempt to shield Sanusi from the machinery of the administration of justice, which the federal government has kick-started, so I urge the court to wash its hands off the suit and strike out same,” Ajogwu argued.
While responding, Awodein insisted that Section 251 of the Constitution specifically vested the Federal High Court with jurisdiction over the case, because the operational words in the section said “notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution.”
The lawyer also maintained that Section 11 of the NIC Act, which vested the NIC with jurisdiction over such instant case, was inconsistent with the Constitution, to that extent, it was unconstitutional.
Awodein further clarified that his client was unafraid of arrest, rather he just wanted the court to restrain the federal government from arresting him without following due process of law.
He further stressed that from the conflicting reports of the DSS and police on Sanusi’s investigation, the respondents had clearly shown that there was bad faith in the investigation, and that there was no reasonable suspicion of commission of crime.