Board clears Adesina for second term as AfDB president
• FG deplores ‘alien rules’ as Obasanjo rallies support for Nigerian
The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday said it had not asked its president, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, to step aside, stating that there was no basis for that.
Its chairman and Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Niale Kaba, made the clarification in a statement.
Adesina, who is seeking a fresh term of five years, has been facing ethical charges from a whistleblower.
Kaba, however, said the fraud allegations had been investigated by the ethic committee of the continental financial institution, which gave the Nigerian a clean bill of health.
“The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) held a meeting to examine the matter arising from a whistleblower complaint against the president of the AfDB, which was dealt with by the ethics committee of the bank’s Board of Directors and about which I received letters from certain shareholders expressing different points of view,” the Ivoirien said.
But the United States, the largest non-continental shareholder had been reportedly been up in arms to forestall Adesina’s return, a reminiscence of the 1995 event where Nigeria’s first shot at the bank’s presidency through one of its vice presidents, Dr. Bisi Ogunjobi, was thwarted by the American nation, which instead, worked for the emergence of Rwanda’s Dr. Donald Kaberuka.
At the tension-soaked election in Abuja, the exercise was inconclusive and had to be moved elsewhere where U.S. eventually had its way.
Incidentally, Adesina succeeded the Rwandan after his two terms in office.
However, Nigeria’s Finance of Minister and board member of the AfDB, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has in a letter to the chairman, told the organisation that another probe outside the one known to the establishment was unacceptable to the most populous black nation, hence the call for Adesina to step down was unnecessary.
Also yesterday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo rallied support for the embattled Nigerian, urging African leaders to prevail on America not to “derail the superlative performance and vision” of the bank’s president.
He cautioned against railroading the board into observing the law in the breach.