Ex-Irish President see no evidence of wrongdoing by AFDB chief Adesina

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    Former Irish President Mary Robinson will head a panel that includes a top ex-South African prosecutor and Gambia’s chief justice to review an ethics committee report that found no evidence of wrongdoing by AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.

    Means as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin welcomed a decision by the African Development Bank to reexamine a probe into the lender’s president that ignited a dispute between America and Nigeria.

    “International financial institutions must adhere to the highest standards of governance and transparency, and the decision to pursue an independent review demonstrates the strength of the African Development Bank,” Mnuchin said in a statement Thursday. “Undertaking an independent review is fully consistent with a presumption of innocence.”

    The inquiry is the result of a compromise reached after bank shareholders — led by the U.S. and including several non-regional member states — called for an independent investigation. The panel’s review comes as Adesina, a former Nigerian agriculture minister, seeks to extend his five-year term at the bank’s annual general meeting next month.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari flew Adesina, 60, to his presidential villa from the Ivory Coast last month to offer his support. Buhari assured the AfDB head that he would mobilize backing from more African countries against the “onslaught led by America.”

    The ethics committee conducted the investigation after unidentified whistleblowers accused Adesina of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions. Adesina has repeatedly denied the allegations.

    The AfDB is Africa’s biggest multilateral bank. Shareholders of the lender include 54 nations on the continent and 27 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

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    Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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