President Muhammadu Buhari has given words of encouragement to the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who is seeking a second term in office but also faces allegations of corruption.
Though Adesina has been cleared by an internal committee of the bank, the United States government which is a stakeholder in AfDB has called for an independent investigation.
Adesina on Tuesday paid a courtesy call to President Buhari at the state house where the president voiced his support for the beleaguered bank boss.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, Femi Adesina, Buhari said he wasn’t withdrawing his support for the AfDB president.
The president told Adesina that, “In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position. I didn’t say because you were a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Minister, and I belonged to the All Progressives Congress (APC), so I would withhold my support.
The president said, “I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria.”
Akinwumu Adesina on his part said allegations made against him without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.
The Ethics Committee of the bank he said has cleared him of all the allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.
He said, “My defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned. The law says that report of the Ethics Committee should be transmitted to the Chairman of Governors of the bank. It was done, and the governors upheld the recommendations.
“That was the end of the matter, according to the rules. It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched. I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion.”