Muhammad Sanusi II, the emir of Kano, has denied reports that he gave N40 billion in donations to the office of the national security adviser while he was governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Contacted by TheCable on Monday to react to the allegation that he gave the former NSA, Sambo Dasuki, cash donations before he left office, Sanusi II said: “This is completely untrue. In the first place, I understand the laws of money laundering. And it is a criminal offence. The central bank is the chief regulator charged with ensuring we put an end to money laundering.
“This is partly why we started our cashless Nigeria project and why I started the BVN project. I would never authorise that amount of cash to be moved to the office of the NSA or to anyone even if it was in their account.”
He also denied reports that he was being considered for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with regards to the alleged disbursements.
“I do not know where they are getting these strange stories. I was removed from the CBN in February 2014, and to the best of my knowledge, the EFCC is probing disbursements allegedly made in late 2014 and early 2015 before the general elections, if indeed they happened,” he said.
“I find it difficult to believe that this could happen in the CBN that I know but we have to wait and see what the investigations come out with. Certainly whoever is linking me to this did not even bother to look at the dates of the alleged transactions. I know nothing about them, period.”
The emir told TheCable all interventions made by the CBN under him were through projects under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) budgets.
He said: “We never gave cash to anybody. If we did we disclosed it in published accounts under CSR. Our interventions, be this to educational institutions or security services, took the form of clearly identified projects or specified procurement, done through well laid-down procedures, including competitive bidding, award of contracts, and collection of no-objection certificate from the due process office. We did not give cash to anybody.
“The total amount disbursed by the CBN on capital projects in my five years was N55 billion. And this included contracts for CBN branches and our CSR interventions mainly in the universities and secondary schools. How can anyone suggest that we gave N40 billion to ONSA?”
Sanusi said all of these stories sound like a “bad dream” to him and he is hoping he would wake up and find that the central bank was not involved in the manner alleged in newspaper reports.
Dasuki is currently undergoing trial over allegations of diversion of the budget for arms during his tenure.