The board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed for an independent investigation of Akinwumi Adesina, the Nigerian Bank President.
This is happening shortly after Steven Mnuchin, US treasury secretary, rejected the investigation and report of the bank’s ethics board which absolved Adesina of allegations with respect to favouritism.
Bloomberg reports that the Ethics board of AFDB has agreed to an independent probe after “several foreign governments backed Mnuchin’s criticism of a bank-led examination into the allegations.”
The countries supporting Mnuchin’s claim include; Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland as they were reported to be among the countries that have written to disagree with the initial exaneration of Adesina.
The newspaper also quotes its sources as saying Adesina may be required to step back from the role until the investigation is concluded.
In a May 22 letter and addressed to Niale Kaba, Chairwoman of the bank’s Board of Governors, Mnuchin said the treasury disagrees with findings that “totally exonerated” Adesina.
“We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process” Mnuchin stated.
“Considering the scope, seriousness, and detail of these allegations against the sole candidate for bank leadership over the next five years, we believe that further inquiry is necessary to ensure that the AfDB’s President has broad support, confidence, and a clear mandate from shareholders.”
‘Le Monde’, a French newspaper, had reported that some employees of the bank submitted a petition against Adesina.
However, an email seen by online newspaper, TheCable claimed that the petition was spearheaded by an elected staff member to “discredit” Adesina’s candidacy for re-election.
Adesina is the sole candidate in AfDB’s election that is scheduled to hold in August.
The Abidjan-based bank, in February 2020, rebutted claims made by David Malpass, World Bank President, that some multilateral development banks, including the African Development Bank, had a tendency of lending too quickly and in the process, add to Africa’s debt problems.
The AfDB currently has an AAA rating from Moodys, Fitch and S&P Global Ratings.