President Muhammadu Buhari has declared support for the election of Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the Africa Development Bank (AFDB).
Adesina faces opposition to his re-election by the United States.
U.S. Department of Treasury had called for an independent probe of the AfDB president even after he was cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.
However, speaking after a meeting with Adesina at the State House on Tuesday, Buhari said he will stand by him for his election.
Buhari also stated that the country would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Dr Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.
He said, “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.”
Also Speaking, the former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, 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 maintained 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 defence 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.”
While thanking President Buhari for his unflinching support, Adesina stressed that the allegation was made to soil his name and the bank.
“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election,” he added.
Meanwhile, Former President, by Olusegun Obasanjo had also backed Adesina.