How Jonathan May Fire Jega

Attahiru Jega


There are two ways president Jonathan may fire INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega and replace him with Ondo governor Olusegun Mimiko’s brother, Prof. Femi Mimiko:

1. NewsRescue learned that Attahiru Jega had before the February 7th military coup, been forced at “gun point” to sign his own resignation.

2. Precedence: it happened before – PremiumTimes

Nahzeem Olufemi MimikoAs he did in the case of the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, the president might ignore the laws to oust Mr. Jega.

On February 20, 2014, the president, via a statement by his media aide, Reuben Abati, accused the former CBN Governor, who was on an assignment outside the country of “Various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial disciple”.

The statement also said the president was “deeply concerned about far reaching irregularities under Mallam Sanusi’s watch which have distracted the Central Bank away from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate.”

Before his suspension, which was to allow the Financial Regulatory Council, FRC, to conclude investigations on the allegations, Mr. Sanusi had alleged at a Senate public hearing that the sum of $20 million was missing from the Federation Account.

But the action of the president raised questions as to whether he had the power under the nation’s laws to suspend the CBN chief.

In a media chat few days later, Mr. Jonathan said he had full powers to suspend the CBN Governor because of his oversight functions he exercises over the bank.

“Yes, I have absolute power. The CBN is not well defined in the Nigerian Constitution,” he said while responding to a question by the panel of journalists.

Though under the CBN Act, 2007, the president cannot suspend the CBN Governor, it however provides that he has powers to remove a CBN Governor subject to the approval of two-third majority of the Senate.

The Act states that the Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of CBN shall cease to hold office if he “is removed by the President Provided that the removal of the Governor shall be supported by two-third majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed.”