African Bank of Development, AfDB, President, Akinwumi Adesina, has been cleared of corruption allegations, by an independent panel of experts, headed by former Irish President Mary Robinson, according to AFP.
The panel involves three experts, led by Robinson alongside Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and the World Bank’s integrity vice president Leonard McCarthy, cleared Adesina of all charges alleged by whistleblowers.
Recall that, Adesina, 60, was the first Nigerian to head the AfDB in 2015, however, a 15-page report earlier this year claimed that under his watch the bank had been tarred by poor governance, impunity, personal enrichment and favouritism.
According to the report, “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.”
The African banking institution and Adesina – who is the sole candidate for the bank’s August’s presidential elections – had been in the eye of the storm over allegations of impropriety levelled against him by some whistleblowers working in the bank.
The former Nigerian finance minister had always stated he was “innocent” of the charges. Robinson – who led Ireland from 1990 to 1997 before serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights until 2002 – dismissed the 16 whistleblower allegations against Adesina.
The panel did not investigate the charges themselves, as that was not within their mandate.
The United States had insisted that AfDB governors conduct an “independent review” of its Ethics Committee report on allegations levelled against Adesina.
The bank’s Ethics’ Committee, which investigated the allegations, gave him a clean bill that was accepted by the Board of Governors, but the United States rejected the report and demanded a fresh probe by an independent body.
The board subsequently authorised an independent review of the Ethics Committee report on Akinwumi, who is due for re-election as the sole presidential candidate, having received the backing of Nigeria and other African countries.
But unsatisfied with the report, the US insisted that an independent probe be done to validate or invalidate the Committee’s findings.