AfDB board stands by Adesina, approves independent review of ethics committee report


The bureau of the board of governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) says it agrees with the investigation carried out by its ethics committee into whistleblower allegations levelled against Akinwumi Adesina, president of the bank.

In a communique signed by Niale Kaba, chairperson of the bureau of the board of governors, the bureau said it has 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”.

“The bureau reiterates that it agrees that the ethics committee of the board 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 communique read

“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 US had demanded an independent probe of the allegations after the ethics committee cleared Adesina.

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”.

The AfDB bureau also said it has agreed to an “independent comprehensive review of the implementation of the bank group’s whistle-blowing and complaints handling policy” within a three to six month period after the review of the ethics committee report.

This, it said, would ensure that the whistleblower policy is “properly implemented and revising it where necessary to avoid situations of this nature in the future”.

Several stakeholders, including 15 ex-presidents of African countries, have voiced their support for Adesina.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also assured Adesina of his support.

Adesina has denied all the allegations levelled against him.


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