African Development Bank authorizes fresh probe of Akinwumi Adesina

The Bureau of Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group has commissioned an independent investigation of the allegations against the President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.

The board took this decision after the US government demanded that an in-depth investigation be conducted into the allegations against Mr Adesina by an independent investigator.

The ethics committee of the continental bank, headed by Takuji Yano, had earlier said in its report that Mr Adesina was not guilty on all counts.

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

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

However, 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 Bureau of Board of Governors agreed to do as the US requested and authorised 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, said even though it accepted the findings of the Ethics Committee an independent investigator will be contracted for further probe.

“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.”

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

On a visit to 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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