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Sanusi can’t escape arrest – Federal Government tells court

The case between the Federal Government and the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, is heating up as the former has refused to shift its stance.

The F.G, in response to a suit filed by Sanusi, has said that the CBN governor can not succeed in his attempt to restrain the police and  the Department of State Security Service from arresting him.

The government, which is involved in the suit alongside the Inspector General of Police and the Department of State Security, also added that the reliefs Sanusi sought were constitutionally impossible to grant.

The Daily Independent reports:

Sanusi had filed the suit seeking an order restraining the police and officers of the Department of State Security (DSS) from arresting, detaining or otherwise harassing him.
While faulting the suit, the AGF, in an affidavit in support of the preliminary objection, said the reliefs sought by Sanusi were constitutionally not grantable as the Police and the DSS cannot be restricted from carrying out their constitutional and statutory duties of arresting and prosecuting anyone found to have committed an offence.

Besides, the government recalled that on February 26, 2013, Sanusi sent the audited accounts of the CBN for the year ended December 31, 2012, to the President, who later sent it to the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) for examination and advice.

The FRCN  subsequently released a damning report of financial impropriety on the operations of CBN under Sanusi. The government said his tenure at the apex bank was characterised by acts of financial recklessness and misconduct.

The government, in a preliminary objection against the fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Sanusi, said the financial irregularities perpetrated by the ex-CBN Governor actually distracted the apex bank from the pursuit of its statutory mandate.

The government further said that President Jonathan had to urgently exercise the powers conferred on him by the Constitution and the CBN Act to suspend Sanusi, in an effort to reposition the CBN for greater efficiency and respect for due process and accountability.

Besides, the government argued that the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit because the main issue that brought about it was a labour dispute between Sanusi, who was an employee, and the Federal Government, which was the employer.
For that reason, the government said the appropriate court to adjudicate on the matter, was the National Industrial Court. Therefore, the government is seeking an order striking out the suit.

Meanwhile, Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court has fixed March 31, 2014 for hearing of the suit.

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