By Adedapo Adesanya
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has been exonerated of all charges by an independent review panel.
The three-person panel led by Mrs Mary Robinson, former president of the Republic of Ireland, found the embattled Mr Adesina not guilty of all charges levelled against him for the second time.
On May 5, the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors of the bank declared Mr Adesina innocent of corruption allegations raised by some whistleblowers within the bank.
The committee, headed by Mr Takuji Yano, the institution’s Japan Executive Director, described the 16-count allegations against Mr Adesina, who is seeking another five-year term, as “spurious and unfounded”.
Not satisfied, on May 22, the United States, which is a member of the bank, expressed what is noted was a “deep reservations about the integrity of the Committee’s process” and called for a fresh “in-depth investigation of the allegations.”
In a letter to the chairperson of the bank’s board of governors, Mrs Nialé Kaba, the Secretary, US Department of Treasury, Mr Steven Mnuchin, faulted the committee’s decision to totally exonerate Mr Adesina of all allegations.
Now with his exoneration, Mr Adesina is on course to emerge as winner in a re-election next month for which he is the sole candidate.
Since his election as president, the bank has maintained its AAA rating by all the four major global rating agencies, four years in a row. This is a reflection of the bank’s sound financial and risk management, excellent liquidity and strong shareholder support.
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