The Federal Government of Nigeria has thrown its weight behind the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, following calls by the United States of America for an independent investigation against him.
Recall that while Adesina was cleared of allegations of embezzlement, preferential treatment of Nigerians in senior appointments and promoting people accused or found guilty of fraud and corruption by an ethics committee of the bank, US Treasury Department dismissed it and also wrote a letter urging the AfDB to carry out an independent investigation into the alleged ethics breaches by the bank’s President.
However reacting to this, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed appealed to the chairman of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to dismiss the call for an independent investigation of Adesina.
The letter reads in part;
“The call for an ‘independent investigation’ of the President is outside of the laid down rules, procedures and governing system of the bank and its articles as it relates to the Code of Conduct on Ethics for the President.
“As Board of Governors (made up of the finance ministers of member countries), we must uphold the rule of law and respect the governance systems of the bank. If there’s any governance issues that needs improvement, these can be considered and amendments proposed for adoption in line with laid down procedures.
“The Nigerian Government welcomes the conclusion of the Ethics Committee and the decision of the Chair of the Board of Governors.
“The Ethics Committee, following three months of work to examine the whistleblowers’ allegations made against the President, dismissed each and every one of the allegations of the whistleblowers against the President as unsubstantiated and baseless.”
The Minister also listed some achievements of the bank’s head which includes securing a General Capital Increase of $115bn, the largest ever in the history of the bank; he led the bank to develop a $10bn Crisis Response Facility for Africa to fight the Coronavirus pandemic as well as leading the bank to launch a $3bn “Fight COVID19” social bond, the largest US dollar denominated social bond ever in world’s history.
Zainab Ahmed reminded the Board that Adesina “is the sole candidate for the election of the President of the African Development Bank which was to be held on May 28, 2020 but has now been postponed to 25-27 August 2020.”