Nigeria’s president backs embattled African Development Bank chief

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday gave his backing to the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, in his re-election bid despite allegations of improper conduct.

Adesina, who served as Nigeria’s agriculture minister before taking the AfDB’s top job in 2015, has been accused of abuse of office by a whistleblower at the bank including favouritism in hiring.

Adesina, who denied the allegations, was later cleared of wrongdoing in an internal investigation.

But U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin signed a letter to the bank’s board on May 22 rejecting the internal investigation.

The United States, AfDB’s second-largest shareholder after Nigeria, is demanding a new independent investigation, saying it has reservations about the integrity of the banks process.

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