Against the backdrop of the call by the United States for further investigation of the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, the former Founder and Executive Director of the Nigeria Network of NGOs and Chief Executive, Ransome Properties Nig. Ltd, Ms. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti has condemned what she called “the plot to remove Adesina,” describing it as “fishy and a collusion with other member states of AfDB, irrespective of whatever these leaders may be saying in public.”
Some allegations had been leveled against Adesina, who was, however, cleared by the AfDB Ethics Committee after a three-month investigation.
Ransome-Kuti, who made the declaration recently in Lagos, said: “That the AfDB board has agreed to a further ‘independent’ investigation (a US sanctioned one), instead of respecting their own investigation and taking an opportunity to declare their independence from the US’ whims seems very fishy. The US cannot witch-hunt the head of AfDB without collusion from other member states…”
She noted that the current American administration has not hidden its contempt for Africa and its citizens. Neither has it demonstrated zealous stand against corruption, nepotism or support for the rule of law in its style of governance.
“It now seems clear that it is not content with the destruction of its own affairs, but is inexplicably seeking to destroy the record of integrity and sound development that Adesina has worked so hard to establish during his time so far at the Bank. This move is consistent with the current US administration’s record of decimating multilateral institutions (withdrawing from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and castigating the United Nations (UN) and upending the world order, but ‘America first’ should not be at the expense of Africa and its people,” she explained.
Stating that it was fit and proper to follow up on any whistleblower’ allegations to ensure transparency and accountability, she said: “And in line with standard procedure, the AfDB ethics committee has cleared Adesina of all the whistleblowers’ 16 allegations. Yet, this American administration, whose contemptuous response to the issue of whistleblowers is well documented, still insisted on further investigations. If AfDB dances to America’s tunes, Adesina will have to stand aside, while outsiders determine his fate. This move seeks to tarnish his image and cast a slur on his character and smacks of contempt for due process and a slap in the face of African leaders, suspiciously coming at a time when his reelection is almost guaranteed.”
She disclosed that in 2019, Adesina successfully led the Bank’s shareholder General Capital Increase from $93b to $208b, and in the process became the first Bank President to take the risk of championing a case for increasing capital for Africa’s development during a first term in office.
“It was a gambit that paid off, in spite of initial strong American opposition,” she said.