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AfDB Crisis: Probe Panel Absolves Adesina Of Any Wrongdoing

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An independent panel of experts, headed by former Irish President, Mary Robinson, has cleared the beleaguered Nigerian-born leader of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, of corruption, according to a report obtained made available to newsmen, yesterday.
Adesina, 60, a charismatic speaker known for his elegant suits and bow ties, became the first Nigerian to helm the AfDB in 2015 — but a 15-page report earlier this year claimed that under his watch, the bank had been tarred by poor governance, impunity, personal enrichment and favouritism.
The panel of three experts, led by Robinson alongside Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and the World Bank’s integrity Vice President, Leonard McCarthy, cleared Adesina of all charges alleged by whistleblowers.
“The panel concurs with the committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the committee,” the report submitted on Monday, concluded.
The African banking institution and Adesina — who is the sole candidate for the bank’s August presidential elections — has been battered by the rollercoaster of allegations after the whistleblowers’ complaints were leaked to the media in April.
The former Nigerian finance minister under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration had always stated that he was “innocent” of the charges.
Robinson — who led Ireland from 1990 to 1997 before serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights until 2002 — dismissed the 16 whistleblower allegations against Adesina.
The panel did not investigate the charges themselves, as that was not within their mandate.
The AfDB plays an important if largely behind-the-scenes role in African economies, financing projects in agriculture, health, energy, education, transport and other development sectors.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has rejoiced with President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, on the clearing of all allegations against him by an anonymous group, and further validation of his competence and integrity to lead the institution.
The President urged him to remain steadfast, dedicated and resolute in pursuing his noble goals for the institution, especially with the now expected second term in office, assuring him of the prayers and support of Nigerians.
Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, in Abuja, yesterday, congratulated AfDB Board of Directors, the Ethics Committee and members of staff for their courage, maturity and patience in following through the process of investigations, and acceptance of Report of Panel of High-Level Independent Experts, which reviewed the Report of Ethics Committee of AfDB, and Dr. Adesina’s response.
According to the statement, “The President commends the eminent personalities, consisting of Mary Robinson, Justice Hassan B. Jallow and Leonard F. McCarthy, who handled the review of the report of the Ethics Committee, and their professionalism in rejecting support services, and providing a unanimous report.
“President Buhari believes the conclusion of the review should finally draw a curtain on the allegations that created distractions for the entire institution for a period and serve as the impetus for more diligence in handling responsibilities while fuelling the zeal to deliver on the promises of a greater Africa.
“The President urges Dr. Adesina to remain steadfast, dedicated and resolute in pursuing his noble goals for the institution, especially with the now expected second term in office, assuring him of the prayers and support of Nigerians.”

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Buhari Succumbs To Pressure, Appoints New Service Chiefs …Wike, PDP, Afenifere, Others Hail President’s Action

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President Muhammadu Buhari has finally succumbed to public pressure to dispense with his service chiefs, who have overstayed their tenure for several years.
In an announcement, yesterday, Special Adviser on Media, Chief Femi Adesina, said Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the service chiefs, and their retirement from service.
Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Buhari thanked the old service chiefs for what he called their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”
He also wished them well in their future endeavours.
The new service chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Buhari also congratulated the new service chiefs, and urged them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Reacting to the new development, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing new service chiefs for the country.
Wike noted that even though the appointments came late; the President should be commended for listening to the voice of the people.
He challenged the new appointees to see their appointments as an opportunity to re-engineer the nation’s security architecture which has suffered tremendous setback in the last five years.
“The new service chiefs should not politicise security by aligning with politicians.
“What the country needs now is competence and professionalism that will reduce insecurity to the barest minimum,” he stated.
Wike noted that Nigerians who lost confidence in the former service chiefs are looking up to the new appointees to make the desired change.
He called on all levels of government to give the service chiefs the needed support they would require to execute their assignments.
“This is an opportunity to serve the nation and I believe that the service chiefs will be focused and dedicated,” he added.
Also reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stressed that the senior security officers listened to the party’s voice.
The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the service chiefs outlived their usefulness, hence their resignation, and said the incoming service chiefs should put an end to the spate of insecurity in the country.
The spokesman of the opposition party insisted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was ineffective.
Further reacting, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) challenged the newly appointed service chiefs to see their appointments as a call to revitalize the weakened security architecture to ensure the country is secured for all.
The CUPP, which said this via a statement issued by its National Secretary, High Chief Peter Ameh, while reacting to the appointment of the new military helmsmen in Abuja, said although, the sack of service chiefs was long overdue but still a welcome development..
Ameh charged that, “The new service chiefs must now go to work to make sure that Nigeria is secured for our people to travel across state lines to do business and prosper the nation without the fear of being kidnapped.”
According to him, “The sack of the service chiefs is a great relief to the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigerian people as a whole.
“I have no doubt in my mind that those appointed to lead the new and successful onslaught against those who have boldly taken over our ungoverned spaces have been tested and trusted to do the job.”
Similarly, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere described the sack of service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari as a belated exercise.
Reacting to the development, National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said the sack was belated as the service chiefs should have been sacked before now.
He said Afenifere was not impressed with the sack as it was long overdue.
Odumakin stated that Afenifere did not believe that the agenda that made Buhari to keep the service chiefs had been dropped.
He said the Buhari’s government had not changed its agenda of nepotism and managing the country in a sectional manner.
Odumakin also faulted appointment of the new service chiefs, as there was nobody appointed from the South-East part of the country.
Still reacting, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) called on the newly appointed service chiefs to immediately disband all armed groups and militias in the country.
It also urged the security heads to work in harmony with the civil society to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the state.
The group in a statement by its spokesman, Abulazeez Sulaiman, also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “reassert himself by taking direct control of the fight to secure the nation and to finally reclaim the nation’s forests, highways and sea that have been lost to insurgents, other armed criminals.”
The statement reads, “The Coalition of Northern Groups has noted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari has finally acceded to the huge demands made by Nigerians for the replacement of the nation’s service chiefs as a step towards addressing the serious shortfalls in our policing and security institutions.
“The CNG sincerely welcomes the development in the hope that the hundreds of thousands of people in Northern communities that have been at the mercy of insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, rustlers and rapists without any form of security protection would now get respite.
“CNG advices President Buhari as a military General to reassert himself by taking direct control of the fight to secure the nation and to finally reclaim the nation’s forests, highways and sea that have been lost to insurgents, other armed criminals and assortment of militants in various guises.
“We also advise the new service chiefs on the imperative of involving responsible opinion from community leaders and the civil society for civic contributions in initiatives that will address the manner the nation is designed to be policed and secured.
“We expect them to work in direct harmony with all components of the Nigerian society for action to immediately disband all militias and armed groups in Nigeria to ensure that no group in future has the capacity to challenge the state in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties.
“The acceptable position remains that only legally constituted outfits and lawfully sanctioned organizations under the direct control of the Federal Government, as recognized by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can be so organized, armed and fitted.
“We expect a renewed commitment by our gallant troops and a stronger will from President Buhari in the fight against Boko Haram, bandits and other forms of criminality without the need for floating victory in the media.
“We urge them to fight this insecurity with resolve and awareness of their obligations under the law, as well as the knowledge that victory will only be pronounced when the nation achieves full cessation of hostilities, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in the entire region.
“We appeal to fellow Nigerians to show the highest levels of cooperation, restraint and maturity in the manner we relate with the new security chiefs to ensure our defence. Under no circumstances should we as citizens encourage or harbour acts that will increase our exposure to crime, lawlessness and insecurity.”
It would be recalled that Major General Leo Irabor is from Agbor in Delta State, and was a member of the Regular Course 39 of the NDA.
He served as a Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the Nigerian Army, Minna; Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) Defence Headquarters; the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, and headed the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) as the Field Commander.
The trained engineer also served as Chief of Staff to the Chief of Army Staff.
Major General Attahiru Ibrahim, until his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff, was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigerian Army.
He was appointed to lead the offensive against Boko Haram in the North-East in May, 2017.
He was, however, redeployed by the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai after a string of attacks by the insurgents, including after giving him a deadline in July to deliver Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau dead or alive within 40 days.
Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao was born on September 14, 1965 at Enugu but hails from Oshogbo LGA of Osun State.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on January 19, 1984 as a member of the 35 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
He had previously served as Trainee/Squadron Pilot, NAF Unit 99 ACTG Kainji (1993-2004), Instructor Pilot/Squadron Pilot, 301 FTS Kaduna (2004-2007), Air Assistance to Chief of Air Staff, Deputy Defence Adviser, Nigerian High Commission London, Assistant Director of Operation Defence Headquarters, Director of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Air Force.
Until his appointment as the Chief of Air Staff by the President, Amao was the Commandant, Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Lagos.
Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on April 22, 1966, and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on September 24, 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on September 24, 1988.
He is an Underwater Warfare specialist with a subspecialisation in Intelligence.
The senior officer has attended several military courses which include, Sub-Technical course and Officers Long course both at NNS QUORRA.
He also attended Junior Division 48/89 and Senior Course 26 both at AFCSC Jaji.
Other courses attended include the National Defence Course at the South African National Defence College.
Until his recent appointment as the CNS, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.

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‘Wike Not Behind Campaign Posters’

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The Rivers State Government has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, is making moves to launch political campaigns for the office of the Presidency in 2023, saying that the governor has no such intention, for now.
The clarification comes on the heels of the emergence of political campaign posters carrying the picture of Wike in the nation’s capital, ostensibly engineered by some political jobbers and mischief makers, at the weekend.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, last Monday, dissociated the state government, and indeed, the governor from the clandestine moves, and warned those behind the devilish act to retrace their steps.
The statement read, “The attention of Governor Nyesom Wike has been drawn to campaign posters bearing his name which flooded some major streets of Abuja, today.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Wike has not informed anyone that he is interested in the Presidency of this country.
“This is certainly the handiwork of mischief makers who are threatened by the governor’s rising political profile.
“We are amused that political detractors will stop at nothing to see how they can distract Governor Wike’s visionary leadership.
“For the umpteenth time, we wish to restate that Governor Wike is presently preoccupied with his mission to make Rivers State a better place and destination of choice.
“All the puerile antics of political jobbers aimed at heating up the polity will surely fail.
“Members of the public are therefore advised to discountenance the misinformation that is currently circulating in Abuja”, the statement added.

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Buhari Appoints Aghughu As Auditor-General

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President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Mr. Aghughu Arhotomhenla Adolphus for appointment as the Auditor-General of the Federation.
The President forwarded the letter of nomination to the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan pursuant to Section 86(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
In a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, said that Aghughu has been acting as the Auditor-General since the voluntary retirement of Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine from service upon attainment of the mandatory retirement age of 60 years on October 25, 2020.
The Auditor-General designate hails from Edo State and, holds a master’s degree in economics; he is a fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and associate member of Chartered Institute of Taxation.
He became an auditor in the Office of the Auditor-General in 1992, and was promoted to the rank of director of Audit in January, 2016.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in December, 2016, forwarded the name of Ayine to fill the post that was held then by Florence Anyanwu in acting capacity.
Ayine’s name was then forwarded six months after the then former Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Samuel Ukuru proceeded on terminal leave.
In a related development, President Buhari has nominated Barrister Victor Chinemerem Muruako for appointment as chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission in accordance with the provisions of Section 5(3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
Muruako, a legal practitioner, had served as the secretary to the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and currently acts as the chairman of the commission.
He hails from Imo State.
The nomination letter was forwarded to the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan for confirmation by the Senate.

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