Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB

How review panel clears AfDB’s Akinwumi Adesina of corruption, favouritism

*Independent panel, led by former Irish President Mary Robinson, says it’s “satisfied” with Bank’s Ethics Committee’s findings

*Findings enable Adesina to seek re-election into office August 2020

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to an earlier intense pressure by the United States (US) Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over his rejection of the AfDB Ethics Committee’s original report, an independent panel backed an African Development Bank (AfDB) probe has found no evidence of wrongdoing by Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the lending Bank.

Reports say the latest findings now enable Adesina, 60, to seek re-election in office next month as head of the continent’s biggest multilateral lender for five more years.

The new clearance of any wrongdoing is said to be a rebuff to US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, whose previous rejection of the AfDB Ethics Committee’s original report led to the current review, stated the report.

The independent panel, led by former Irish President Mary Robinson, said it was “satisfied” with the Ethics Committee’s findings, according to a document cited by Bloomberg.

Recall that the probe was initiated after unidentified whistleblowers had accused Adesina of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions at the Abidjan-based lender.

The document dated July 27, containing the findings state: “The panel concurs with the findings in respect of all the allegations against the president and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the committee.”

The AfDB is owned by 54 African nations and 27 other countries, while the US holds the largest stake after Nigeria, the home country of Dr. Adesina.

Hitherto, Adesina had repeatedly denied the allegations, and said in a May 27 statement that “fair, transparent and just processes” would confirm his innocence.

The Bank’s Ethics Committee had dismissed much of the complaints in an April 26 report on the basis that the whistleblowers did not provide evidence to back them.

According to the AfDB Ethics Committee, “it appears to us to be an undue burden to expect the holder of high office in an international organisation, to prove a negative, in the absence of sufficient grounds.”

The probe review panel was said to be the product of a compromise reached between the bank’s shareholders, led by the US and including several non-regional member states, who called for an independent review of the internal probe.