AFDB: INDEPENDENT REVIEW PANEL VINDICATES AKINWUMI ADESINA
The Independent Review Panel has completely exonerated Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), who was charged for corruption and nepotism.
The Independent Review Panel was set up by the Bureau of Governors of the Bank, following the insistence by the United States on Independent probe.
The United States, who is also the second-biggest shareholder in the AfDB after Nigeria, had demanded an independent probe of allegations levelled against Adesina on corruption after the Bank’s ethics committee and the Bureau of the Board of Governors had previously cleared him.
Reports say the three-member panel consists of Mary Robinson, a former President of the Republic of Ireland, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Chairperson of the Elders, a global body of wise persons concerned with the world’s wellbeing; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Gambia, Mr Hassan B. Jallow; and Mr Leonard F. McCarthy, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, a former Director for the Office of Serious Economic Offences, and a former Head of the Directorate of Special Operations of South Africa. He also served as the Vice President of Integrity for the World Bank for nine years.
Some unidentified whistleblowers, In January 2020, had accused Adesina, who is the first Nigerian to oversee the AfDB, of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions.
Sixteen allegations of ethical misconduct were levelled against him by the whistleblowers. The allegations which were reviewed by the Bank’s Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors in March were described as “frivolous and without merit.”
Adesina said every single one of the 16 allegations against him in the disclosure remains unsubstantiated, adding that he has not violated the code of conduct.
The report of the Independent Review Panel states that it “concurs with the (Ethics) 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 Panel hereby vindicated Adesina and stated that: “It has considered the President’s submissions on their face and finds them consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive.”
Following the development, Adesina has been considered to be re-elected to a second five-year term as president of the AFDB during the annual meetings of the bank scheduled for August 25 to 27.