Akinwunmi Adesina Cleared After Corruption Probe

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has been cleared of all corruption charges that were levelled against him after a review was done by an independent panel.

The United States of America (USA), which is one of the largest shareholders and stakeholders in the bank had insisted on a new inquiry in April after an internal review had already cleared Mr. Adesina.

Apparently, some purported whistle blowers had accused the Nigerian of giving contracts to friends and appointing relatives at the bank. Some supporters of the AfDB president however believed that these stories were machinations from people who did not want to see Akinwunmi secure a second term because he wasn’t playing to the tune of the West.

Mr Adesina is set to be re-elected for another five-year term in August.

The AfDB is currently aged 60 and has been a player in the bankiing industry for a good chunk of his years.

He also used to be a former minister of agriculture in Nigeria, and is gunning to be the sole candidate in his AfDB re-election bid.

Adesina is a charismatic speaker, who is known for his elegant suits and bow ties, he has led the bank since 2015.

He himself believes that there are people out there to get him because he has kept faith with pushing policies that benefit the people of the continent first, as opposed to seeking to dance to the tune of the pipers who preferred that their interests be paramount.

He also vehemently denied the accusations against his person many times and consistently, saying they were “attempts by some to tarnish” his reputation.

Eight things You Should Know about Akinwumi Adesina:

  • First Nigerian to lead AfDB
  • Elected for five-year term in September 2015
  • Was Nigeria’s agriculture minister from 2011 until his move
  • Named Forbes Africa Person of the Year in 2013 for his “bold reforms” in farming sector
  • Was told by an academic in Nigeria he would never get into Purdue University as his maths was poor
  • Proved him wrong by getting into the prestigious US institution
  • Cancelled his admission to UK’s respected Cambridge University
  • Got his PhD in agricultural economics in 1988

Sources: AfDB; Forbes magazine

The panel that looked into the accusations against the AfDB president consisted of of three experts made up of Ireland’s ex-President Mary Robinson, Gambian Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and Leonard McCarthy, the World Bank’s integrity vice-president.

Their work ended up backing the findings of the bank’s ethic’s committee, which had earlier cleared the president of all the allegations of the made by the whistle blowers in January this year.

“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,” their report concluded.

The report comes in contrarian to the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s stance who had rejected the original report by the bank’s internal ethics committee and had insisted on the need for an independent panel inquest.

Besides the core 54 African countries, the US is one of the 27 non-regional members of the AfDB and its second largest shareholder.

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Irumole Togbono

Irumole enjoys writing, music, swimming and dancing. She is a sucker for information and also loves food :)

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