African Development Bank Approves Fresh Probe of its President, Akinwumi Adesina

African Development Bank probe

  • The African Development Bank Group has ordered an independent probe into the allegations against the bank ‘s president, Akinwumi Adesina.
  • Follows the United States’ expression of deep reservation about the integrity of the committee’s process in an earlier investigation.
  • The African Development Bank’s president, Adesina is yet to comment on the latest decisions by the Board of Governors. He has however vehemently denied any involvement in shady activities.

The Board of Governors’ Bureau of the African Development Bank Group has commissioned an independent probe into the allegations against the bank ‘s president, Akinwumi Adesina.

This decision was taken by the board after the US government demanded that an independent investigator conduct an in-depth investigation into the allegations against Mr Adesina.

The continental bank’s ethics committee, headed by Takuji Yano, had said earlier in its report on the African Development Bank probe that Mr Adesina was not guilty on all counts.

Mr Yano is a Japanese executive director responsible for investigating allegations against the Bank ‘s president by some concerned employees.

The committee stated that the allegations that Mr Adesina violated the code of conduct of the institution as “spurious and unfounded”.

Nevertheless, the US government expressed “deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process” and called for a fresh “in-depth investigation of the allegations.”

After a meeting on Thursday, the Board of Governors’ Bureau agreed to do as the US requested and authorized an independent review of the report of the Ethics Committee.

The communiqué, signed by the Chair of the Board of Governors Bureau, Niale Kaba, said that although it accepted the Ethics Committee’s findings, an independent investigator will be contracted for further investigation.

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“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 authorize 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.

“The Independent Review shall be conducted by a neutral high calibre individual with unquestionable experience, a 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.”

The AfDB President is yet to react to the latest decisions by the Board of Governors. He has however repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Whilst on a visit to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, Mr Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said the 16 allegations made against him were baseless “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”

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