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Promoting Good Governance.

AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina, under scrutiny by independent review panel over whistleblower’s allegations

THE BUREAU of the board of governors of  African Development Bank has set up a panel to carry out an independent review of the report of the ethics committee of the bank on the allegations made by whistleblowers against Akinwunmi Adesina, the president of the bank.

In a communique released on Wednesday, the bureau said it agreed on the terms of reference for the independent review at its meetings of June 18 and July 1, 2020.

The ‘High-Level Panel of Independent Experts’ to conduct the review has Mary Robinson, Hassan B. Jallow and Leonard F. McCarthy as members.

The communiqué, which was signed by Niale Kaba, Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors of AfDB and  Governor for Côte d’Ivoire, noted that the bureau expressed its utmost trust and confidence in the panel’s ability to successfully carry out the assignment and reaffirms its commitment to fully assisting the panel in the process.

The panel is expected to submit its report to the bureau within a period of two to four weeks maximum, the communiqué read.

Robinson, who is chair of the panel, is a lawyer and a former President of the Republic of Ireland. She also served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

She is the chairperson of the ‘Elders’, a global body of wise persons concerned about the wellbeing of the world.

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).

On February 5, 2017, Mr Jallow was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Gambia.

McCarthy had served as a former director of public prosecutions, ex-director of 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 and is the current President of LFMcCarthy Associates, Inc., an integrity risk management company based in Washington, D.C, USA.

Adesina’s re-election bid as President of the AfDB is currently threatened by the United States of America’s request for an independent probe into whistleblower allegations levelled against him.

He was accused by unnamed whistleblowers of using the bank’s resources for self-promotion and personal gain while also paying out huge undeserved severance packages to staff who resigned in unusual circumstances and favouring Nigerians.

The ethics committee of the bank’s board of governors had absolved Adesina of the charges but the US rejected the initial inquiry that cleared him and is sought for an independent probe which was eventually granted.

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