AfDB: Trio of Personalities Investigate Charges Against President Adesina

Former Irish President Mary Robinson (here in London in 2012) will lead the panel of experts. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS

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The election of the next president of the African Development Bank is due to take place in August. For the moment, the current leader, the Nigerian Akinwumi Adesina, is the only candidate for his succession. But he is accused of favoritism and failure to fulfill his obligations. An independent investigation has been launched and the former Irish President, Mary Robinson, will head the panel of experts charged with conducting it.


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A single investigator was expected to be appointed . The AfDB Board of Governors office finally retained three independent figures to investigate the accusations of patronage and prevarication brought against Akinwumi Adesina by whistleblowers inside the Pan-African bank.

Leading the trio, Marie Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. To support this lawyer by profession, Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, who currently presides over the Supreme Court of The Gambia and former prosecutor before the Criminal Court for Rwanda (ICTR), as well as Leonard McCarthy, former vice-president for integrity at the World Bank.

An election in two months

The work of this panel of personalities from outside the AfDB is to shed light on the conclusions of an initial internal investigation . The ethics committee had exonerated Akinwumi Adesina, but this conclusion was rejected by the whistleblowers at the origin of the affair, as well as by the United States, second AfDB shareholder after Nigeria.

The three investigators have two to four weeks to report. An expected report since within less than two months, the Pan-African financial institution must elect its president. The re-election of the Nigerian seemed assured, six months ago, reinforced by the absence of a competitor. The fate of Akinwumi Adesina will now depend on the report of the team of independent investigators.

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