AfDB bows to U.S. pressure, approves further investigation against Adesina

By our reporter|The African Development Bank has bowed to pressure from the United States and agreed to a further probe of its president, Akinwumi Adesina, even after an internal review found no evidence of misconduct.

The bank arrived at the decision at the end of Thursday’s meeting of its Bureau of Board of Directors.

The agreement to further review Adesina’s conduct comes on the heels of a call by the United States, pressing for an independent probe into charges by whistleblowers.

The charges which had been declared as unfounded by an internal inquiry, include alleged embezzlement and favoritism under Adesina’s watch, a situation which puts some pressure on the bank’s president who is bidding for a second five-year term.

However, at the end of its meeting on Thursday, the Bureau of Board of Governors issued a communique, signed by the Chairperson, Niale Kaba, agreeing with the U.S and authorizing an independent review of the ethics committee’s report.

The communique read, “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.

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“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 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, 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.

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“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.”

Adesina has since denied any wrong doing.

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