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    Friday, March 28, 2014

    Sanusi shuns FRC panel, sitting suspended

    Mallam Lamido Sanusi

    The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria on Thursday alleged that the Central Bank of Nigeria under the leadership of the suspended governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, spent N500bn as intervention fund in various sectors without obtaining the approval of its Board or the Federal Executive Council.

    It also alleged at a sitting in Lagos in which the suspended governor was scheduled to appear that the bank under his watch spent N10bn to renovate five palaces of traditional rulers in the country under its education intervention projects.

    Sanusi, however, refused to appear before the panel, which is currently investigating the activities of the CBN under his watch.

    Sanusi, who said the invitation was in bad faith, has also sued the FRC, according to sources close him.

    The FRC had invited Sanusi along with the deputy governors of the CBN to appear before it as part of the ongoing investigation into the activities of the CBN.

    The deputy governors are Mr. Kingsley Moghalu, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, Mr. Babatunde Lemo (who recently retired from the bank) and the acting governor of the central bank, Dr. Sarah Alade.

    Also invited to appear before the council were the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu; Mr. Babatunde Dayo and Mr. Gabriel Okpeh.

    While everyone showed up for the hearing, Sanusi and Alade did not come.

    The Executive Secretary, FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee, later said the sitting of the panel had been suspended following a letter from Sanusi’s lawyer that the investigation was subjudice.

    The council also alleged that CBN failed to prepare its financial statements in accordance with the acceptable financial standards.

    Obazee said it was wrong for the CBN to have disbursed the N500bn intervention fund through the Bank of Industry and Deposit Money Banks without obtaining necessary approvals.

    The deputy governors in attendance could not proof that the CBN obtained the approval of the board for the money to be disbursed.

    However, Barau and Lemo denied that the CBN spent N10bn to renovate palaces.

    Obazee also said the CBN’s financial statements revealed that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria risks constituted 27.3 per cent of its accounts.

    According to him, the CBN ought to have properly briefed Mr. President about such level of risks.

    Obazee also said the CBN under Sanusi acquired shares in the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation without the board’s approval.

    Moghalu, Barau and Lemo could not prove that the IILMC transaction followed due process.

    On why the CBN account was not acceptable, the FRC boss said, “The process we follow in the FRC is that we receive financial statements from entities by law. Organisations are supposed to submit their financial statements to the FRC and we review for compliance with the accounting or financial standards.

    “Having reviewed their books, we report back to you by inviting you for a formal meeting like this.”


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