An Independent Review Panel has cleared Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) of corruption and Abuse of Office charges.

The panel of experts made up by former Irish president Mary Robinson, Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow, and the World Bank’s integrity vice president Leonard McCarthy dismissed allegations by Whistleblowers against Mr. Adesina

A 15-page, report published by Whistleblowers in January 2020, accused Dr. Adesina, who has been president of the AfDB since 2015, of poor governance, impunity, personal enrichment, and favouritism. The Ethics Committee of AfDB, however, cleared him of wrongdoings as alleged.

In April, the United States, the AfDB’s second largest shareholder, rejected the results of the internal investigation and demanded a review by an independent panel. Nigeria, the bank’s largest shareholder threw its weight behind the Nigerian-born AfDB boss

In their report titled “Report of Panel of High-Level Independent Experts Reviewing Report of Ethics Committee of African Development Bank and Response of President Thereto.” the panel stated that allegations against Adesina were properly considered and dismissed by the Ethics Committee.

The expert panel writes, in the first part of the report, that they considered “the complaints provided to the Ethics Committee by the whistle-blowers and found that they had been properly considered and dismissed by the Committee. In the second part, the panel not that “it considered, in the interests of due process, the responses of the President,’’ which it found “consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive.”

“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 report concluded.

The Panel’s finding clears Dr Adesina for re-elected in August to another five-year term.

Eight things about Akinwumi Adesina:

  • First Nigerian to lead AfDB
  • Elected for a five-year term in September 2015
  • Was Nigeria’s agriculture minister from 2011 until his move
  • Named Forbes Africa Person of the Year in 2013 for his “bold reforms” in the farming sector
  • Was told by an academic in Nigeria he would never get into Purdue University as his maths was poor
  • Proved him wrong by getting into the prestigious US institution
  • Canceled his admission to UK’s respected Cambridge University
  • Got his Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1988

Sources: AfDB; Forbes magazine


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