NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja –
The Independent Review Panel set up by the Bureau of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ on the bank’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina embroiled, since January this year, in allegations of ethical wrongdoings in the bank, levelled against him by a group of ‘whistle-blowers’
The no guilty verdict is contained the panel report made available to AbeyaNews in Abuja earlier today.
AbeyaNews Correspondent in Abuja reports that the Independent Review Panel was constituted following a complaint by the United States, which sought a review of the process by which two previous organs of the Bank – the Ethics Committee of the Board and the Bureau of the Board of Governors, had previously cleared Adesina of allegations of corruption.
Headed by Mary Robinson, who is a former President of the Republic of Ireland and a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Gambia, Mr Hassan Jallow and Mr. Leonard McCarthy, a former Director of Public Prosecutions who is also a former Director for the Office of Serious Economic Offences, as members, the three-man said they concurred with the Ethics Committee, which had earlier “properly considered and dismissed” the allegations against the President.
The panel added that it had considered Adesina’s submissions and found them consistent with his pleas of innocence since the allegations were made.
Analysts familiar with the goings-on in the bank who spoke with AbeyaNews in Abuja over the phone, said they were convinced that the conclusions of this review panel were decisive enough and had cleared the way for Governors of the Bank to re-elect Adesina for a second five-year term as President at the annual meetings of the Bank scheduled for August 25-27.
AbeyaNews recalls that in January, a group of ‘whistle-blowers’ levelled all of 16 allegations of ethical misconduct against Dr. Adesina, fueling doubts about his well-honed personal integrity over time.
But the allegations came to early grief when the bank’s Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, which reviewed them in March found them “frivolous and without merit,” a verdict which was upheld by the apex Bureau of the Board of Governors in May thereby clearing Dr. Adesina of any wrongdoing.