Akinwumi Adesina accused of appointing relatives to strategic positions at AFDB

PRESIDENT of the African Development Bank (AFDB) Akinwumi Adesina has been accused by a group of anonymous whistleblowers of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions at the bank, a Bloomberg report has revealed.

According to the report, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin turned down plans by the AFDB’s board to end an investigation into Adesina, and called for an independent probe into allegations against him.

Mnuchin said the Treasury disagrees with findings by the bank’s ethics committee that totally exempt Adesina.

Adesina who has repeatedly denied the allegations is the only candidate up for election as president at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for August, the report revealed.

Mnuchin said; “We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process.”

“Instead, we urge you to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing,” he added.

The ethics committee also wrote to the governors saying Adesina has been exonerated of all the charges alleged against him, thereby seeking the consent of all the governors to dismiss the issue accordingly.

The AFDB earlier scheduled the AGM for May but was rescheduled to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mnuchin, however, believes that further investigation is necessary to ensure that the AfDB’s president has wide support, confidence, and a clear mandate from shareholders.

AFDB shareholders are Africa’s 54 nations and 27 countries in Europe, Middle East and Asia.

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Adesina, a former Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was elected as the 8th President of the AFDB on Thursday, May 28, 2015.

He succeeded Donald Kaberuka of Rwanda, and assumed duty on September 1, 2015 in Abidjan.

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