An independent panel has cleared African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina of allegations of favouritism and nepotism. A report by the committee concurs with findings on the bank’s ethics committee, which cleared the president of alleged bias in handing contracts to acquaintances and filling strategic positions with relatives.
“The panel concurs with the findings in respect of all the allegations against the president and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the committee,” reads the committee’s report seen by Bloomberg.
The findings of the committee will pave the way for Adesina’s bid for reelection next month. Earlier, the AfDB president said that the allegations sought to “impugn his honour and integrity as well as the reputation of the AfDB” ahead of the August elections. Adesina will seek another five-year term next month.
In April, the AfDB Ethics Committee dismissed allegations of unknown whistleblowers. Then, the internal committee said that the whistleblowers lacked evidence for their claims. However, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sighted deep reservations in the committee’s process. Further, officials from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland also demanded a fresh inquiry, pressuring the bank to launch new probes against President Akinwumi Adesina.
Nevertheless, that independent committee led by former Irish President Mary Robinson, former Gambian Attorney Hassan Jallo and former African Director of Public Prosecutions Leonard McCarthy found AfDB’s Ethics Committee findings satisfactory.
“It appears to us to be an undue burden to expect the holder of high office in an international organization, to prove a negative, in the absence of sufficient grounds.”