US commends AfDB over Adesina’s allegation independent review

The United States has expressed satisfaction with the decision of the African Development Bank Governors to conduct an “independent review” of its Ethics Committee report on allegations levelled against its President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin also praised the Bank’s decision to appoint a panel led by former Irish President, Mary Robinson, to conduct the review

“I welcome the African Development Bank Governors’ decision to conduct an independent review of the work of the Bank’s Ethics Committee and its appointment of a high-level panel led by former Irish President Mary Robinson to conduct the review.

“Undertaking an independent review is fully consistent with a presumption of innocence. International financial institutions must adhere to the highest standards of governance and transparency, and the decision to pursue an independent review demonstrates the strength of the African Development Bank,” he said.

Adesina had been in the eye of the storm over allegations of impropriety levelled against him by some whistleblowers working in the bank.

The bank’s Ethics’ Committee, which investigated the allegations, gave him a clean bill that was accepted by the Board of Governors, but the United States rejected the report and demanded a fresh probe by an independent body.

The board subsequently authorised an independent review of the Ethics Committee report on Akinwumi, who is due for re-election as the sole presidential candidate, having received the backing of Nigeria and other African countries.

But unsatisfied with the report, the US insisted that an independent probe be done to validate or invalidate the Committee’s findings.

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