AfDB board denies asking Adesina to step down, as Obasanjo says the bank risks being hijacked

The Bureau of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has denied media reports making the rounds that AfDB’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, has been asked to step down pending the completion of the probe and determination of allegations against him.

The bank’s top governing board members said that they have not asked Adesina to step down from his position as president, even as the board continues to review the fallout of complaints by some whistleblower. The statement from the Chairman of the bank’s board of governors, Niale Kaba, said:

“The Bureau of the board of governors informs the public that it has not taken any decision. Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign. All governors will be carried along in resolving the issue.’’

Kaba also stressed that there was no governance crisis at AfDB as was being speculated in certain quarters. He confirmed that the Bureau of the Board of Governors of AfDB met on Tuesday, May 26, after the request by the U.S Secretary calling for an independent probe. The essence of the meeting was to take a closer look at the allegations by the whistleblowers against Akinwumi Adesina, said allegations which had already been investigated by the ethics committee of the bank.

Kaba further disclosed that even though no decision has been taken yet, the bureau assures that it is treating the case with the utmost seriousness that it deserves.

Adesina, who maintains his innocence of those allegations, had stated that a fair, transparent, and just process will vindicate him.

In a related development, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had thrown his weight behind Adesina and kicked against the demand by the United States of America for a fresh, independent probe of the AfDB President who had earlier been cleared by the ethics committee of the bank.

In his letter to 12 former African Presidents, Obasanjo said that Africa must stand up and not allow its institutions to be unduly controlled by non-African countries.

Obasanjo said that the bank has witnessed tremendous growth under Adesina’s leadership and has doubled its capital base since he took over.

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