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Nigeria's president suspends Central Bank chief who warned of missing billions of petrodollars

FILE-In this file photo taken on Tuesday, March, 19, 2013, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, speaks during a summit on enabling and implementing transformation, in Lagos, Nigeria. Jonathan on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, suspended the Central Bank governor who announced that billions of petrodollars are missing from the coffers of Africa’s biggest oil producer, accusing him of “financial recklessness and misconduct.” Lamido Sanusi, a 52-year-old career banker, had spearheaded bank reforms and acknowledged making powerful enemies among vested interests in a country where corruption is endemic, (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

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FILE-In this file photo taken on Tuesday, March, 19, 2013, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, speaks during a summit on enabling and implementing transformation, in Lagos, Nigeria. Jonathan on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, suspended the Central Bank governor who announced that billions of petrodollars are missing from the coffers of Africa’s biggest oil producer, accusing him of “financial recklessness and misconduct.” Lamido Sanusi, a 52-year-old career banker, had spearheaded bank reforms and acknowledged making powerful enemies among vested interests in a country where corruption is endemic, (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

LAGOS, Nigeria - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan is suspending the Central Bank governor who announced that billions of petrodollars are missing from government coffers.

The internationally respected governor, Lamido Sanusi, could not immediately be reached for comment on the president's announcement Thursday accusing him of "financial recklessness and misconduct."

Last year Sanusi reported that $50 billion worth of oil sold by the corruption-riddled state oil corporation had not been paid to the government. The Senate Committee on Finance last week ordered an independent forensic audit into the missing money, which it said amounted to about $20 billion. Missing receipts apparently accounted for the rest.

Jonathan appointed deputy governor Sarah Alade to replace Sanusi, who had been expected to step down this year. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer.

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