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US demands investigation into African Development Bank’s Decision.

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The United States Department of Treasury has requested an independent investigation into allegations leveled against the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina.

Some staff of the AfDB had accused Adesina of 20 breaches of the bank’s code of conduct, including “unethical conduct, private gain, an impediment to efficiency, preferential treatment, and involvement in political activities”. The bank’s ethics committee carried out an independent investigation headed by Takuji Yano and cleared Adesina, insisting he was not guilty on all counts.

However, in a letter by US Treasury Secretary, Stephen Mnuchin dated 22nd May and addressed to Niale Kaba, chair of AfDB’s board of governors, rejected the findings by the ethics committee of the bank that “totally exonerated” Adesina and has called for a deeper investigation. The US Treasury owns the largest non-African stake in the bank.

Read the full text of the letter below

THE UNITED STATES RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 5, IN WHICH YOU SHARE YOUR VIEW THAT THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK SHOULD ADOPT THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE BANK’S ETHICS COMMITTEE AND DECLARE THAT THE PRESIDENT IS “TOTALLY EXONERATED OF ALL THE ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST HIM.” OUR CONSTITUENCY CANNOT MAKE SUCH A DECLARATION AT THIS TIME. WE HAVE DEEP RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMMITTEE’S PROCESS.

INSTEAD, WE URGE YOU TO INITIATE AN IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION OF THE ALLEGATIONS USING THE SERVICES OF AN INDEPENDENT OUTSIDE INVESTIGATOR OF HIGH PROFESSIONAL STANDING. WE EMPHASIZE THAT UNDERTAKING AN INDEPENDENT EVALUATION OF FACTS, AT ANY STAGE, IS NOT AT ODDS WITH A PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE.

THE ALLEGATIONS SET OUT IN THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT SUBMITTED ON JANUARY 19, 2020, RAISE SIGNIFICANT ISSUES THAT ALL RELEVANT GOVERNING BODIES OF THE BANK MUST HANDLE WITH THE UTMOST CARE, USING ALL TOOLS AVAILABLE TO THEM. HAD THE ETHICS COMMITTEE UNDERTAKEN A PROPER PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION THAT WAS IN LINE WITH THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS RESOLUTION B/BG/2008/L 1, STANDARD PRACTICES AT OTHER INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, AND THE BANK’S OWN RULES AND PROCEDURES, IT WOULD HAVE REVIEWED AVAILABLE FACTS THAT COULD BE GATHERED BY EXTERNAL COUNSEL AND FOUND IN INTERNAL BANK RECORDS.

WE FEAR THAT WHOLESALE DISMISSAL OF ALL ALLEGATIONS WITHOUT APPROPRIATE INVESTIGATION WILL TARNISH THE REPUTATION OF THIS INSTITUTION AS ONE THAT DOES NOT UPHOLD HIGH STANDARDS OF ETHICS AND GOVERNANCE. THIS IS A SERIOUS RISK WHEN WE NEED STRONG CONFIDENCE IN THE AFDB TO PLAY AN INFLUENTIAL ROLE IN THE CURRENT GLOBAL ECONOMIC AND HEALTH CRISIS, AND WHEN MANY SHAREHOLDERS ARE SEEKING LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT FOR PAYMENTS UNDER THE RECENTLY-CONCLUDED GENERAL CAPITAL INCREASE.

THEREFORE, THE UNITED STATES CANNOT SUPPORT DISMISSING THE ALLEGATIONS AT THIS STAGE. WE BELIEVE THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS MUST DEMONSTRATE THAT THIS INSTITUTION TAKES GOVERNANCE, ANTI-CORRUPTION, AND TRANSPARENCY SERIOUSLY. WE THUS REQUEST THAT YOU TAKE STEPS TO INITIATE AN IMPARTIAL, INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO THESE ALLEGATIONS. WHATEVER THE OUTCOME, THE AFDB WILL EMERGE STRONGER FOR HAVING TAKEN SERIOUSLY ITS OBLIGATIONS TO UPHOLD GOOD GOVERNANCE.

THE UNITED STATES SINCERELY WISHES THE AFDB TO REMAIN A HIGH-QUALITY INSTITUTION WITH THE CAPABILITY TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENT, PARTICULARLY AT THIS CRITICAL TIME. CONSIDERING THE SCOPE, SERIOUSNESS AND DETAIL OF THESE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE SOLE CANDIDATE FOR BANK LEADERSHIP OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, WE BELIEVE THAT FURTHER INQUIRY IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THE AFDB’S PRESIDENT HAS BROAD SUPPORT, CONFIDENCE, AND A CLEAR MANDATE FROM SHAREHOLDERS.
PLEASE ACCEPT OUR REGARDS AND APPRECIATION FOR CONSIDERING OUR REQUEST.

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Rivers: Tensions Grow As Wike, Fubara’s Supporters Clash, Baby Hurt

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A baby was reportedly tear-gassed and became unconscious on Wednesday as supporters of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, clashed with the loyalists of ex-governor Nyesom Wike in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the clash happened during a government medical outreach in the Eliozu community, Obio/Akpor LGA.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that trouble started when officials of the state Ministry of Health were carrying out a medical outreach for women at the Eliozu Health Centre.

It was gathered that no sooner had the programme started than some supporters allegedly loyal to the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, arrived at the venue to find out the reason for the gathering.

The venue is said to be near the residence of Amaewhule, who is the leader of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike.

But supporters of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, Chijioke Ihunwo, loyal to Fubara, who were at the venue allegedly stopped them from accessing the venue, leading to a heated argument and subsequent clash.

Following the fisticuffs, stones were pelted from several directions, as the medical outreach was disrupted abruptly.

A few minutes later, a team of anti-riot policemen arrived at the scene, firing teargas to disperse the opposing groups and quell the situation from getting out of hand.

It was gathered that a child was tear-gassed during the mayhem and became unconscious.

The situation led to the relocation of the medical outreach to a state-owned medical facility at the Waterlines axis of Port Harcourt where the programme was launched.

Reacting to the incident, the Obio/Akpor CTC Chairman, Chijioke Ihunwo, accused Amaewhule, of leading policemen to disrupt the outreach.

Ihunwo stated, “This morning there was an incident at the Eliozu Health Centre where the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, led some security men to disrupt a programme by the Ministry of Health.

“A few minutes later, some policemen came and started beating up our women, shooting tear gas at pregnant women who were at the Health Centre.

“We want to say that Obio/Akpor Local Government Area will not be under siege. We want to call on the President, Bola Tinubu that the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of the FCT are tarnishing the image of your government.

“We are calling on you to rein them in so that Rivers State can have peace. Let the FCT Minister concentrate on his job in Abuja and leave our dear governor alone.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.

Iringe-Koko, in a short message to our correspondent, said the police responded to a distress call over the scenario, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

She stated, “A distress call was received from the health centre in the Eliozu community today, 24th July 2024, where supporters of two separate political factions were engaged in a fight.

“The police responded by sending operatives to the scene to restore law and order.

“The police deployed anti-riot tactics, including the use of canisters, to disperse the crowds. An investigation into the matter has been initiated.”

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Protest: Nnamdi Kanu, Diaspora Voting Make List As Organizers Unveil 15 Demands

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Organizers of the planned nationwide protest, scheduled for August 1 to August 10, have unveiled their key demands from President Bola Tinubu’s government.

The nation’s economic situation has propelled citizens, particularly the youths, to plan a mass protest nationwide.

Despite efforts by the government to quell the move, the youths are insisting on embarking on the protest in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, who is one of the organizers of the movement, forwarded the demands to our correspondent on Wednesday.

The looming protest titled, “Days of Rage”, “EndBadGovernance” is aimed at drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the economic situation of the country.

Among other things, the intending protesters want the FG to return the fuel subsidy, address issues in the power sector, release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, and allow for diaspora voting during general elections

According to Sowore, Nigerians are asking the FG to “Scrap the 1999 constitution and replace it with a people-made Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a sovereign National Conference followed by a National Referendum.

“Toss the Senate arm of the Nigerian legislative system. Keep the House of Representatives and make lawmaking a part-time endeavour.

“Pay Nigerian workers a minimum wage of nothing less than N250,000 monthly.

“Invest heavily in education and give Nigerian students grants not loans. Aggressively pursue free and compulsory education for children across Nigeria.

“Release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and demilitarize the South East. All ENDSARS and political detainees must also be released and compensated.

“Rationalize public owned enterprises sold to government officials and cronies.

“Reinstate a corruption-free subsidy regime to reduce hunger, starvation and multidimensional poverty.

“Probe past and present Nigerian leaders, who have looted the treasury, recover their loot and deposit it in a special account to fund education, healthcare and infrastructure.

They are also demanding the “Restructuring of Nigeria to accommodate Nigeria’s diversity, resources control, decentralization and regional development.

“End banditry, terrorism and violent crimes. Reform security agencies to stop continuous human rights violations.

“Establishment of a special energy immediately to drive massive corruption-free power sector development.

“Immediate reconstitution of the electoral body, INEC to remove corrupt individuals and partisan hacks appointed to manipulate elections.

“Massive investment in public works and industrialization will help employ Nigeria’s teaming youths.

“Massive shake-ups in the Nigerian judiciary to remove cabals of corrupt generations of judges and judicial officers that continue denying citizens access to real justice.

“Diaspora voting”.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday appealed to Nigerians to shelve the planned protest, urging youths to keep faith and believe in the ability of his administration to transform Nigeria.

 

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Stop Demarketing Dangote Refinery, Indigenous Companies – MAN Cautions FG

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has cautioned the Federal Government from demarketing local industries.

The Association also called for caution from major actors, government agencies, and regulators in the oil and gas sector of the economy regarding the Federal Government-Dangote Refinery saga.

MAN Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said government agencies that provide regulatory oversight functions should promote an enabling business environment for local investments to thrive.

He said no regulatory agency should cast a shadow over a homegrown investment like the Dangote Refinery.

According to him, the allegations of poor quality, and monopolistic tendencies levelled against Dangote Refinery by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) were unsubstantiated.

Ajayi-Kadir stressed that local investors in Nigeria, particularly the Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) play a vital role in driving economic growth, paying taxes, creating jobs and fostering development within the country. As such, these investors must be protected and given the necessary support to thrive in this business environment.

He said a business colossus like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, with investments in diverse sectors of the economy and across the Continent of Africa, should be accorded all needed support to grow and invest in more sectors and positively impact the well-being of the people.

 

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