WorldStage Newsonline-- The Central Bank of Nigeria has reacted to a report of a United States-based Nigerian lecturer who sued the CBN Governor Mallam Lamido Sanusi, for allegedly plagiarising his works, saying he did not write the said paper.
According to a statement issued by Ugochukwu A. Okoroafor, Director, Corporate Communications of CBN, though the apex bank was yet to receive any court papers in respect of the said suit, “we wish to state categorically that Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi did not write the said paper.
The statement said Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, just like Chief Executive Officers of similar institutions in Nigeria and abroad, delivered papers, not in their personal capacities, but on behalf of the institutions for which they are chief spokespersons.
“In the case of the CBN, such papers, even though presented by the Governor, represent our collective views and are prepared by professional researchers in the relevant departments of the Bank. We can vouch that such papers are prepared in line with strict global and ethical standards.
“As a responsible public institution, we always cooperate fully with court officers and our well trained and responsible security officers have ever been under strict instructions to treat them with the appropriate dignity and respect they deserve.
“While awaiting details of the alleged suit, it is pertinent to state that speeches delivered by the current Governor, focus on the core mandates of the Bank and are direct contributions to discourse on national development.
“At a time like this, when the bank is deeply committed to critical reforms of the banking system, the least we can do is to focus on the arduous task of bequeathing to the nation a financial system that will effectively improve the collective welfare of the Nigerian people.”
The accuser, Prof. Victor Dike, of the School of Engineering and Technology, National University of Sacramento, California, had in a suit was filed on his behalf by Mr. E. U. Chinedum at a Federal High Court, Abuja, said that the CBN boss breached his intellectual property rights without proper reference and citation in accordance with Copyright Acts in two separate convocation lectures presented.
The matter concerns contents of various articles written and published by the plaintiff, including ‘Review of the challenges facing the Nigerian economy: (Is national development possible without technological capability?), published in the Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa (Volume 12).
Other materials involved in the matter are an article titled ‘Nigeria: Reform efforts and the unresolved socio-economic problems’, adapted from chapter nine of the book ‘Democracy and political life in Nigeria (2nd edition), as well as a write up titled ‘Nigeria’s bad governance and weak institution: Is the 2020 project achievable?’
Another article involved in the case is a work titled: ‘The state of education in Nigeria and the health of the nation’, published by the NESG Economic Indicators, vol. 8, No. 1, January-March 2002.
Dike, in his statement of claim, informed the court that he was the original author of the articles.
He alleged that Sanusi, in a public lecture delivered at the 8th Convocation Ceremony of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, on November 26, 2010, titled ‘Growth prospects for the Nigerian economy’ used (copied verbatim and pasted) from the his (plaintiff’s) ‘academic articles without referring to him (plaintiff) as the original author of the works.
He averred that in yet another public lecture delivered at the Convocation Square, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, on December 10, 2010, titled ‘Global financial meltdown and the reforms in the Nigerian banking sector’, Sanusi also “copiously used (copied verbatim and pasted) articles originally written and published by the plaintiff without acknowledging the plaintiff as the author of the works from where he sourced the materials that made up his lecture.
“These articles have been published by the plaintiff and also variously cited by plethora of other writers, therefore the copyrights thereof belongs to the plaintiff”.
He said that on discovering Sanusi’s actions, he promptly wrote him, reminding him of the breach of his copy rights and that Sanusi replied to say that he was properly acknowledged and referred him to where he acknowledged only one article by one “Victor E.D”.
The plaintiff is asking the court to order Sanusi to pay him N15m, covering compensation (N10m), and the fees charged by his counsel (N2m), cost of traveling to Nigeria (N1m), hotel accommodation, transport and other logistics (N1.5m).
After hearing an exparte motion by the plaintiff on Monday, Justice Adamu Bello granted an order for substituted service of the process on the CBN governor.
The case was adjourned till May 31 for mention.