AfDB Headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

AfDB authorises private investigation of Akinwumi Adesina under pressure

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Caving in to the persistent pressure by the United States (US), the African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to a private probe of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, its President even after an internal review earlier had found no evidence of misconduct against him.

It was gathered that AfDB’s latest decision emerged as the outcome of a meeting by its Bureau of the Boards of Governors Thursday, June 4.

Report says that the agreement to privately review Adesina’s conduct is premised on a call by the US, pushing for an independent probe into charges by whistleblowers.

However, the charges declared as unfounded by an internal inquiry, include alleged embezzlement and favouritism under Adesina’s watch, throw up a situation which puts some pressure on the Bank’s President who is bidding for a second five-year term in the Abidjan-based group.

In the process, sundry current and former African leaders have pledged to support Dr. Adesina by discouraging any fresh probe, saying that the call negates the ethics of the AfDB, stated reports.

Nonetheless, the Bureau of Board of Governors at the end of its meeting Thursday issued a communiqué, agreed with the U.S by authorising an independent review of the Ethics Committee’s report.

The communiqué, signed by Niale Kaba, Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors, reads: “The Bureau reiterates that it agrees that the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors performed its role on this matter in accordance with the applicable rule under Resolution B/BG/2008/11 of the Board of Governors.

“The Bureau also reiterates that the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Board of Governors performed her role in accepting the findings of the Ethics Committee in accordance with the said Resolution.

“However, based on the views of some Governors on the matter and the need to carry every Governor along in resolving it, the Bureau agrees to authorise an Independent Review of the Report of the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors relative to the allegations considered by the Ethics Committee and the submissions made by the President of the Bank Group thereto in the interest of due process.

It further stated that “the Independent Review shall be conducted by a neutral high calibre individual with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity within a short time period of not more than two to four weeks maximum, taking the Bank Group’s electoral calendar into account.

“The Bureau agrees that, within a three to six month period and following the independent review of the Ethics Committee Report, an independent comprehensive review of the implementation of the Bank Group’s Whistle-Blowing and Complaints Handling Policy should be conducted with a view to ensuring that the Policy is properly implemented, and revising it where necessary, to avoid situations of this nature in the future.”

Though Adesina is yet to make any comment as regards the latest development, he has denied that he engaged in any corrupt practice.

Recently, the AfDB President in a statement described the allegations as “unprecedented attempts” by some to tarnish his reputation.

He stated: “I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank.”

Adesina pledged that he would continue to work with each and every one of the Bank’s shareholders.

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