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Buhari pledges support to AFDB boss re-election

By NewsDesk

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that he would remain consistent with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, assuring the AfDB boss of the country’s unalloyed support in his quest to get reelected for second term.

Recall that following the bank’s whistleblowers allegation of embezzlement and favoritism against Adesina as the President of the Bank, the United States Department of Treasury had demanded an independent probe of the allegations.

The US demands followed the declaration by the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board of the Governors of the bank which cleared Adesina from the allegations and certified him free of the charges leveled against him. However, the allegations and demand for independent probe by the US may not be unconnected to Adesina’s bid to return as the AFDB President for a second term of five-year.

But, the President while speaking on Tuesday afternoon when he he hosted Adesina, who was on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, said the country under his leadership would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term.

According to him, the support will be based on Adesina’s sterling achievements during his first term, adding that the country Nigeria will stand solidly behind the former Agriculture minister.

“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.

“I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria,’’ the President was quoted as saying in a statement released to newsmen by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

While briefing the President on the development, Adesina said the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”

He added that the Ethics Committee of the bank cleared him of all the allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.

“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,’’ Adesina said.

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