Judge Orders FG To Pay Sanusi N50m Damages

Akin Kuponiyi

Reprieve came the way of suspended Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Thursday, as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, awarded N50 million damages in his favour against the Federal Government for breaching his fundamental human rights.

The court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Buba also ordered the Federal Government to offer a public apology to Sanusi and return his seized passport immediately.

The court further ordered that Sanusi should not be arrested without due process henceforth.

In his judgement, Justice Buba dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, that the issue between the Federal Government and Sanusi has to do with labour matters.

However, in dismissing the objection, the court said the issue brought before it by Sanusi was in relation to violation of his fundamental human rights.

In the 33-paragraph statement of claims sworn to by Sanusi and filed before the court, Sanusi alleged that as he was returning to Nigeria on 20 February, 2014 from Niger Republic where he went to attend the meeting of Central Bank Governors of ECOWAS states, in his capacity as Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, his passport was seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and he was detained for one hour by SSS operatives.

Consequently, his fundamental human rights were not only breached but also violated and that there was threat of further arrest and detention.

The judge said the Attorney General’s objection could not be sustained and what Sanusi came for was violation of his fundamental human rights which has nothing to do with labour matters, industrial relations or trade unionism.

However, the Attorney General in his defence alleged that Sanusi’s tenure as CBN governor, was characterized by financial mismanagement recklessness and mismanagement.

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, who is also a defendant in the case, in his defence claimed that he didn’t seize Sanusi’s passport neither was Sanusi arrested or detained by him, therefore, Sanusi has no case against him and he has not done anything to violate Sanusi’s rights.

SSS on its part alleged that there is an allegation that Sanusi is financing a terrorist group, hence there is need for him to be investigated, which led to the seizure of his passport.

However, in his reply, Sanusi said the issue of financial recklessness and financing of a terrorist group was an after thought, adding that the basis for his harassment and threats of arrest and detention was because he exposed non remittance of oil revenue to the federation account by the NNPC.

In his judgement, the judge said no material was brought before the court that Sanusi  was financing a terrorist group, therefore the allegation was an after thought.

The judge says the action of the SSS deserves condemnation and deserves exemplary damages.

Buba said the SSS has no power to seize the passport of any citizen without any due process, citing section 5 (1) of  the Passport Act.

The judge also said therefore the seizure of  Sanusi’s passport was a violation of his fundamental human rights and ordered that his passport should be returned to him, citing the case of Shugaba who was deported from Nigeria unlawfully.

Buba said Sanusi should be paid N50 million exemplary damages by the Federal Government and that the Federal Government should render an apology to Sanusi.

View Comments

  • Victory not only to Sanusi, but to the rule of law and the ordinary citizens of Nigeria. The presiding judge had given precedence to the rule of law over the rule of men. I give kudos to the judge.

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  • why is it that it is only the governors that have right but an ordinary man can not have that right. God help us

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  • What an uncompromised judgment! Justice Buba, d world are proud of judges of your calibre.U applied d real principle of rule of law.

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  • What an uncompromised judgment! Justice Buba, d world are proud of judges of your calibre.U applied d real principle of rule of law.

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  • Now that the judgement is in favour of APC, Lai Mohammed will hail the judge who is Sanusi kinsman but if otherwise, they would have been calling the judge names. The same Sanusi in conjuction with Farida Waziri seized other people's passport then but their action was right but now his was seized and it became unlawful. An appeal should be filed against the judgement.

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    • @ DAT,

      A Court of Law ordered the seizure of Passports in the case of those "Rogue Bank Chiefs" who took our deposits to buy properties abroad and luxury Yatch. Go to North London on Bishop Avenue (Most expensive street in UK) and see the properties belonging to those "IBRUS & AKINGBOLAS" of this world.

      It is not the same in this case my brother - SANUSI was suspended while attending meeting in his official capacity abroad, and detained on arrival plus passport seized. He didn't run away from there remember?

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  • PM News, why are you removing my comments? I have a copy of Sanusi's response to the President's query and I can forward to you if you want. Why can't we call a spade a spade?

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  • PM News you published my comment and removed it. Is it not fair that the President addresses Sanusi's response instead of sweeping it under the carpet?

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  • Sanusi is being witchhunted. Jonathan has refused to tell Nigerians that Sanusi has responded to the query which led to his(Sanusi's) suspension and that Sanusi was already pronounced guilty before investigation. In his reply, Sanusu alleged that he saw the FRCN letter for the first time when it was attached to the suspension letter. In order words, no query was sent to Sanusi in June, 2013 as alleged by the Presidency. Jonathan is a PhD holder and I expect a level of decency from Him. Let him address Sanusi's response instead of making spurious allegations.

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  • Kudos..! Kudos...!! Kudos...!!!

    Awesome., If Nigerians know their rights and demand it - things will start to improve.

    Sanusi's right was violated and that's the focus of this case - Simple as ABC.

    The allegation of financial recklessness is still being investigated, lets get to the bottom of it.

    The courts said "there was no documents before it regarding financing terrorist organisation" that is a fact.

    How many ministers in this Government had been accused of corruption and still remain on the entourage of President for trips abroad without their passport being seized or detained?

    The legal apparatus are there if anyone is found wanting, take the legal and due process to prosecute them.

    Sanusi cannot run away, if FG has something against him, he can be picked up anywhere - remember IBORI was picked up in Dubai and taken to UK for prosecution for a crime committed in Nigeria.

    The whole Sanusi vs Presidency saga is purely witch hunting for a single reason known to the whole world. ONLY FOOLS & SENTIMENTAL IDIOTS thinks otherwise.

    Sanusi is more respected in the whole Financial World than any morons in the current Nigerian FG cabinets.

    I look at the whole events as they unfolds and had since predicted this outcome.


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