Akinwumi Adesina, the 8th President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been completely exonerated of any ethical wrongdoings by the High Level Independent Review Panel led by former Irish President Mary Robinson.It could be recalled that, in January 2020, sixteen allegations of ethical misconduct were levelled against Adesina by a group of whistle-blowers. In a Communique issued by the Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group, they noted that the conclusion of the High-Level Panel regarding the Report of the Ethics Committee – that The Panel concurs with the Committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the Committee.
The Bureau also notes the High-Level Panel’s conclusion regarding the submission of the President to the Ethics Committee — that “it has considered the President’s submissions on their face and finds them consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive” The Independent Review Panel was set up by the Bureau of Governors of the Bank following a complaint by the United States, to review 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 exonerated Adesina. They however, expressed their appreciation to all Governors for their support and patience during this process that was aimed at ensuring the integrity of the African Development Bank and its governance mechanisms.
The High-Level Panel comprising of Mrs. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland (Chair), Justice Hassan B. Jallow, Chief Justice of the Gambia (Member) and Mr. Leonard F. McCarthy, President, LFMcCarthy & Associates (Member) was announced on 1st July 2020. The High-Level Panel was given a period of two to four weeks maximum to complete its work and submit a report to the Bureau. It submitted its Report to Hon. Ms Niale Kaba, the Chairperson of the Bureau on 27th July 2020. The Secretariat transmitted the Report of the High-Level Panel to all Governors the same day as directed by the Chairperson of the Bureau pursuant to the request of the Board of Governors during its virtual Extraordinary Session held on 27th July 2020.
The Bank announces that in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting global disruption, the 2020 Annual Meetings of the AfDB and the African Development Fund will now hold from 25-27 August 2020 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque