The president of the Africa Development Bank, (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina, has been exonerated of all whistleblower allegations by the independent review panel led by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland. All is now set for the former minister of agriculture in Nigeria to emerge for a fresh term as the president of the Bank.
“The panel concurs with the committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the president and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the committee,” a document made available by TheCable sources quoted the panel to have said.
Some whistleblower allegations of favouritism had been levelled against Adesina and although he had been cleared by the ethics committee of the bank, the US had requested for an independent investigation saying it was not satisfied with the report of the committee.
In a letter signed by Steven Mnuchin, its treasury secretary, the US government said it had ” deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process”.
On June 5, Niale Kaba, chairperson of the bureau of the board of governors, said the bureau had agreed to authorise an independent review of the committee’s report in the interest of due process and the “need to carry every governor along in resolving it”.
Speaking on the standards that the AfDB ethics committee used in investigating the whistleblower claims, the panel wrote in its report: “It took proper note of the criteria laid down for evaluating complaints and the sufficiency of supporting evidence.
“It consulted PIAC and the auditor-general. It engaged in discussion and debate of each individual complaint and reached a consensus on the outcome. It applied the correct standard and prepared a report for submission to the chairperson of the bureau of the board of governors”.
The committee also said the evidence provided by Adesina in his own statements before the panel were found to be “consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive”.
Adesina has the support of the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari who stood by him while the controversies lasted. The AfDB was established in 1964 to promote economic prosperity and general development in the African continent.