August 27, 2020
Dr Akinwunmi Adesina has been reelected as President of the Africa Development Bank.
In is seen by many globally as a major win for Nigeria and supporters of the embattled AFDB President, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
The success is sweet, considering the allegations and fought battle proceeding his this election.
The investigative panel setup to review the US led rejection of the ethics committee report have found him non guilty, exonerating him of all charges.
According to the concluding remarks in the report, the committee admitted the innocent of Dr. Adesina agreeing with the ethics committee report and clearing him of all charges.
The Investigative Panel cleared Adesina of all charges agreeing with the submissions of the ethics committee. In its final conclusions, the panel wrote;
“The Panel is mindful of the fact that “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. At the same time, it appears to us to be an undue burden to expect a holder of high office in an international organization, to prove a negative, in the absence of sufficient grounds. An attorney writing on behalf of the President, also argues quite correctly in our view, that a distinction should be drawn between alleged institutional failure at the Bank and the conduct of the president.”
It can be recalled the AfDB has been bedeviled with a leadership crisis as the United States, the second-largest shareholder, had asked for an independent probe of the bank’s President, following series of allegations by a group of whistleblowers.
Adesina was alleged of unethical conducts, questionable appointments and contract awards by a group of whistleblowers. However, he was of all charges by the AfDB’s ethics committee. The AFDB said it supported an internal investigation that cleared Adesina.
But cecond largest shareholder of the Bank, the United States, rejected the ethics committee report asked for an independent probe of those allegations.
Subsequently, The Bureau of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), agreed to authorize an independent review of the report of the ethics committee of the bank’s board of directors on the allegations levied against the President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
The US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin then praised the African Development Bank’s decision for an independent probe of Akinwunmi Adesina. According to him, “Undertaking an independent review is fully consistent with a presumption of innocence,” Mnuchin said.
Adesina denied all allegations made against him.
While all these allegations ensured, the banks Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Jennifer Blanke, resigned with effect from July 4, 2020. Jennifer Blanke, who joined the bank in early 2017 and has overseen a number of the bank’s key programmes, pointed out that her decision to leave was purely for family reasons. She intends to rejoin her family in Switzerland after a very fulfilling time at the bank