Last Updated on June 5, 2020

AfDB Chief Akinwumi Adesina to be Probed

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Earlier in February this year, the African Development Bank (AfDB) president, Akinwumi Adesina faced some accusations. The accusations were brought by a group of anonymous “concerned members of the staff”. These accusations led to an investigation into Akinwumi Adesina’s governance, human resources, deals and management.

On May 5th, the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors of the AfDB exonerated Adesina of all charges against him. However, days after this, news broke out that there would be an independent probe into the allegations levelled against Adesina. This was after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington is dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal inquiry that has exonerated Adesina.

The AfDB has since debunked this news saying no decision had been taken regarding a U.S. push for an outside probe into its chief.

Adesina is the first Nigerian to be in charge of the 56-year-old AfDB, one of the world’s five largest multilateral development banks.

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The 60-year-old former agriculture minister is known for his bow ties and flamboyant manner, but also for a managerial style that critics say is authoritarian. The bank has been shaken by a string of departures since Adesina took the helm in 2015.

Nigeria Support for Adesina

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB

Nigeria, whose stake makes it the bank’s biggest shareholder, on Thursday threw its weight behind the embattled Adesina.

The Nigerian Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed has shown her support for Adesina.  She said that the call for an ‘independent investigation’ of the President is outside of the laid down rules, procedures of the AfDB.

Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo also gave Adesina his support in a letter dated Tuesday. He said the U.S. treasury secretary had “ridiculed” the bank’s governance and also urged African leaders to stand up. “If we do not rise up and defend the AfDB, this might be the end of the AfDB,” he said.

On Wednesday, Adesina also issued a statement that insisted he was innocent. He insists that the accusations are unprecedented attempts to taint his reputation.

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