African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) head Akinwunmi Adesina Wednesday refuted an indictment for code of ethics breach, dismissing it as a smear campaign intended to ruin his good name, a statement obtained by Ripples Nigeria revealed.
Stephen Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary had on 22nd May requested an independent inquiry by the board of the multilateral lender over claims that Adesina offered contracts to cronies and key jobs to relatives at the bank after an internally conducted probe by the bank vindicated him.
“In spite of unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation and prejudice the Bank’s governance procedures, I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank,” Mr Adesina said in the document which had his endorsement.
A Bloomberg report on Tuesday however stated that the AfDB board had agreed to pursue an inquiry into the accusation after efforts to obtain a comment from both the lender and its president drew a blank.
“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution,” Adesina said, affirming his loyalty to the advancement of the global prestige of the institution.
The AfDB chief, however, said he would continue to work collectively with other stakeholders to fulfill the mission of the bank’s founders to accelerate and transform Africa’s development.
The United States Department of Treasury had called for an independent probe of corruption allegations against Adesina despite being cleared by the bank’s ethics committee headed by Takuji Yano on May 5.
He said: “Despite unprecedented attempts by some individuals to tarnish my reputation and prejudice the bank’s governance procedures, I maintain my innocence concerning trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank.”
Read the full statement below:
“In recent weeks and over the last few days especially, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support received from around the world.
“I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the bank that I lead and its governance systems, rules, and procedures. I sincerely appreciate the support of the bank’s shareholders.
“At this time, I remain confident that ultimately and as one collective, the bank will emerge stronger than before and continue to support Africa’s development drive.
“I draw great inspiration from my heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Anan whose lives have shown that through the pain we grow.
“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the code of ethics of this extraordinary institution.
“I will continue to work with each and everyone of our shareholders to ensure that AfDB maintains its hard-earned global reputation and that our credible and well-functioning institutional and governance systems are reinforced.”