• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Obazee’s FRC faltering continues as Sanusi, Alade fail to show up at hearing

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The faltering investigative hearing by Jim Obazee’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) continued yesterday with the absence of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Sarah Alade, acting governor, BusinessDay gathered at the Ikeja, Lagos venue of the sitting yesterday.

It was also gathered last night that while Sanusi got a court injunction against FRC on the hearing, Alade, on the other hand, was involved with the African Finance Conference of central bank governors in Abuja yesterday.

But most people who spoke with BusinessDay yesterday afternoon said the action of the duo, which they applauded, marked the beginning of the disintegration of the panel being spearheaded by one person rather than the council.

Sanusi’s court injunction, according to our source, was received by the FRC yesterday afternoon, while the source claimed ignorance of the likely implication of Sanusi’s action.

“I can confirm to you that the court injunction was received by the FRC this afternoon, but I can’t tell you the likely implication of the action,” said the source.

But apprehension has continued to grip the staff of FRC as they fear the possible backlash on the future of the council.

“In fact, recent developments have continued to heighten the fears of the future of the council which most people believe is chewing more than it can contain,” our source said.

“The non-appearance of the governors marks the beginning of the end of the discredited panel. Why would an administrative panel invite a sitting and a suspended governor? What do they want to hear from them, particularly Sanusi, that he has not said both to Nigerians and the world?” he added.

Another source said of Alade’s absence yesterday: “What do they want from CBN that the so-called panel has not got? Look, you should understand that Alade was busy attending an international conference which I feel is more important than the sitting.”

Speaking further, he said, “What is actually the motive of FRC that is inviting three to four officials from the same institution? Is the investigation targeted at individuals or institutions? And if it is at institutions as they are making us to believe, why should the invitation be personalised?”

Our reporter sighted Tunde Lemo, former deputy governor of the CBN, Evelyn Oputu, managing director, Bank of Industry (BOI), Kingsley Moghalu and Suleiman Barau at the venue.

Industry watchers, who said last night that Lemo had nothing to lose appearing before the panel as he has already retired, decried Moghalu’s recent comments trying to distance himself from what he has benefitted from, and turning around to covet the position of governorship.

While there was still heavy presence of security operatives at the venue of the investigative hearing, their activities were a bit relaxed compared with the preceding day, BusinessDay learnt.

Unlike what happened last Wednesday, most participants had access to the venue without much hinderance by security officials, though the police fortified their force with the deployment of an anti-bomb squad.