The African Development Bank has agreed to a private probe of its president, Akinwumi Adesina, even after an internal review found no evidence of misconduct.
AfDB’s decision comes as the outcome of a meeting by its Bureau of Board of Directors on Thursday.
The agreement to privately review Adesina’s conduct comes on the heels of a call by the United States, pressing for an independent probe into charges by whistleblowers.
These 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.
Some African leaders have pledged to support Adesina, and have kicked against the probe, saying that the call negates the ethics of the AfDB.
However, at the end of its meeting on Thursday, the Bureau of Board of Governors issued a communique, agreeing with the U.S and authorizing an independent review of the ethics committee’s report.
The communique, signed by the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors, Niale Kaba, reads as follows:
“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 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.
“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 is yet to make any comment as regards the latest development, however, he has at other times denied that he partook of any corrupt practice.
The AfDB President in a recent press statement described the allegations as “unprecedented attempts” by some to tarnish his reputation.
He declared that he will continue to work with each and every one of the bank’s shareholders.
“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 said.
The AfDB’s latest position on the matter can be download below.
Communiqué de presse du bureau du Comité Directeur_BAD_ 4 06 2020_version Anglaise