FOLLOWING allegations by Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), that the former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, diverted government funds, the Emir said last weekend he was ready for probe of his tenure in the apex bank.
Sanusi said he was always available to answer questions regarding his stewardship at the Central Bank.
The former CBN governor, who described the allegation on bank bailouts as strange, said: “The money was not given to bank shareholders and management but was provided to ensure that ordinary Nigerians and other depositors who kept their money in banks did not lose their savings as a result of the mismanagement of these banks and bad loans.
“The money remains a loan to those banks and is to be repaid from a combination of sources over the years. These include sale of collateral backing non-performing loans held by AMCON, recovery of those loans, sale of share of the banks held by AMCON and a sinking fund into which all banks are to make annual contributions.
“This will continue no matter how long it takes until the banking industry repays all amounts due to AMCON and the bondholders are repaid.
“All of this is in line with the law setting up AMCON and the purpose of setting it up in the first place.
“The resolution of the Nigerian banking crisis and the AMCON model are actually being held up as an example of how to deal with severe and systemic banking crisis. Not a single depositor in any Nigerian bank lost a single kobo due precisely to these arrangements.”
Meanwhile, Sanusi’s predecessor, Mr. Charles Soludo, has described as blatant lies, Falana’s allegations that he unlawfully diverted $7 billion of the country’s reserves as loans to banks.
It would be recalled that the human rights lawyer had called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to probe both former governors of the apex bank over the allegations.
The allegations read in part: “Sometime in 2006, former Central Bank Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, removed $7 billion from the nation’s external reserves and doled it out to 14 Nigerian banks. Two years later, the Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (the current Emir of Kano), also gave a bailout of N600 billion to the same banks.
“The request of some civil society organisations for the recovery of the huge loan of $7 billion and N600 billion from the commercial banks has been ignored by the management of the Central Bank.”