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AfDB saga: Leave Adesina alone, Obasanjo blasts US

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Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has hit at the United States for insisting that the President of African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina be probed by an independent body.

Adesina was accused of favouritism and others issues and had been cleared by the Ethics Committee of the Board of Director and Chairman of the Board of the Governors of the bank.

But the US Treasury Secretary called for fresh investigation into the 16 allegations levelled against Adesina.

However, Obasanjo, in a letter to the Board and African former leaders, said the clearance granted Akinwunmi, whom he said has performed creditably well, by the laid down institutions should have put the matter to rest.

The former president questioned the insistence of US on “independent investigation”, declaring “it is outside of the rules, laws, procedures and governance systems of the bank.”

According to him, the US treasury secretary disparaged the bank and ridiculed the entire governance system of the bank which had been in place since 1964, saying this was unprecedented in the annals of the African Development Bank Group.

“If we do not rise up and defend the African Development Bank, this might mean the end of the African Development Bank, as its governance will be hijacked away from Africa,” Obasanjo said.

Obasanjo, in the letter obtained by The Nation, called for solidarity in the fight to preserve the independence of the bank.

He said the former African leaders should issue a joint statement “to support the laid down procedures embarked upon to evaluate the allegations and recommend that the Board of Governors as well as the Ethics Committee of the Bank should firmly stand by their process and its outcome.”

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