The board of African Development Bank (AfDB) has authorised an independent review of ethics report which earlier cleared the bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina,of allegations against him.
Some whistleblowers in the bank had accused Adesina of nepotism, corruption and mismanagement.
An ethics committee set up by the financial institution’s board to look into the allegations cleared the president in April, but the United States, who is one of the bank’s shareholders, dismissed the ethics committee’s report and called for an independent probe.
The AfDB’s board gave in to pressure on Wednesday and constituted an independent probe panel to review the ethics committee’s report.
The ethics committee is made up of the bank’s directors.
The board’s chairperson, Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group, Ms. Niale KABA; First Vice Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors, Mr. Christian Asinelli and Alternate Governor for Argentina Second Vice Chairperson of the Bureau of Boards of Governors, Mr. Penda Ithindi, in a communique jointly signed by them Wednesday said the board at its meeting on Tuesday had agreed on the independent review of a report which cleared Adesina of allegations against him.
The board selected three persons; Mrs. Mary Robinson, Mr. Hassan B. Jallow and Mr. Leonard F. McCarthy, to constitute a High-Level Panel of Independent Experts to conduct the review.
It described the experts as individuals with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and professional integrity.
“The panel will be chaired by Mrs. Robinson.
“Mrs. Mary Robinson is a Barrister by profession and is a former president of the Republic of Ireland.
“She was also the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“She, among other numerous global and national responsibilities, is the Chairperson of the Elders, a global body of wise persons concerned about the wellbeing of the world.
“Justice Hassan B. Jallow is a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of the Gambia as well as a former Justice of the Supreme Court of the Gambia.
“In 2003, he was appointed as a Judge of the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and later that year as the Prosecutor of the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR),” according to the communique.
On 5 February 2017, Justice Jallow was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Gambia.
Leonard F. McCarthy is a former Director of Public Prosecutions, a former Director for the Office of Serious Economic Offences, and a former Head of the Directorate of Special Operations of South Africa.
He served as the Integrity Vice President of the World Bank for nine years.
Mr. McCarthy is currently the President of LFMcCarthy Associates, Inc., an integrity risk management company based in Washington, D.C, USA.
The panel, according to the board, is expected to submit its report to the Bureau within a period of two to four weeks maximum.
“The Bureau expresses its utmost trust and confidence in the panel’s ability to successfully carry out this important assignment and reaffirms its commitment to fully assisting the panel in the process,” it said.