The board of governors of Africa’s biggest multilateral lender, African Development Bank (AfDB), plans to commission a fair-minded personality of global repute to carry out an independent review of the bank’s ethics committee verdict, vindicating its Nigerian head, Akinwunmi Adesina in allegations bordering on favouritism in recruitment and awarding contracts.
The AfDB president had been in the eye of the storm in recent weeks after U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, expressed strong discontent with the internal inquiry of the ethics committee and demanded an independent scrutiny instead.
Mr. Adesina dismissed the accusations publicly and received a groundswell of support from the continent’s leadership including former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and, lately, President Muhammadu Buhari, who hosted him in Abuja on Tuesday.
The AfDB governors’ board announced in a communiqué obtained by Ripples Nigeria on Thursday, that it agreed the ethics’ committee executed its functions regarding the issue in line with the applicable rule and that the chair of the board of governors was right in accepting the discoveries of the committee.
“However, based on the views of some Governors on the matter and the need to carry every Governor along in resolving it, the Bureau agrees to authorize an Independent Review of the Report of the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors relative to the allegations considered by the Ethics Committee and the submissions made by the President of the Bank Group thereto in the interest of due process,” the document read in part.
“A transparent independent investigator is expected to conduct the independent review between two to four weeks at most, bearing in mind the bank’s electoral calendar. AfDB’s presidential election holds later this year with Adesina up for another term.
“The Bureau agrees that, within a three to six month period and following the independent review of the Ethics Committee Report, an independent comprehensive review of the implementation of the Bank Group’s Whistle-Blowing and Complaints Handling Policy should be conducted with a view to ensuring that the Policy is properly implemented, and revising it where necessary, to avoid situations of this nature in the future,” the AfDB governors’ board said.
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