Wednesday, 10 June 2020

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK APPROVES IMPARTIAL REVIEW OF ETHICS COMMITTEE REPORT ON DR. AKINWUNMI ADESINA

Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has concurred to an independent review of the report of its ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors relative to the allegations considered regarding the conduct of its president, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.

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The bank’s latest decision was disclosed in a communique signed by the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors, Niale Kaba. The communiqué made it clear that the agreement to independently review the ethics committee report is based on the views of some governors on the matter and the need to carry every governor along in resolving it.

Below is the memo signed by the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors, Niale Kaba.

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“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.”

It would be recalled that the United States pressed 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 Dr. Adesina’s watch.

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Some African leaders have pledged to support Adesina, and have kicked against the probe, saying that the call negates the ethics of the AfDB. Dr. 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.

In a recent press statement, Dr. Adesina 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,” Dr. Adesina said.

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