AfDB Board of Governors breaks silence, stands by Adesina

The office of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), has issued a statement, debunking the validity of publications being touted by the international media.

Chairwoman of the Bank’s Board of Governors, Mrs. Kaba Nialé, made the disclosure in a press statement released on Wednesday

Bloomberg in a report published on Tuesday and updated on Wednesday said the board had agreed to an independent probe of Adesina after the U.S. rejected an internal investigation that cleared him of allegations of favouritism.

The news platform cited “two people familiar with deliberations on the matter,” adding that Adesina may have to step back from his role as president until the probe is completed.

Despite being cleared by the Bank’s Ethics Committee on May 5 of all allegations made by a group of “concerned staff,” the U.S. Department of Treasury in a May 22 letter to Nialé disagreed with the committee’s decision to “totally exonerate” Adesina.

“We have deep reservations about the integrity of the Committee’s process. Instead, we urge you [AfDB] to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote.

However, Nialé in the statement noted that Akinwumi Adesina has not been asked to resign, further explaining that the lender was treating the complaint with all seriousness.

The chairwoman said, “On Tuesday, 26 May, the office of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group held a meeting to examine the matter arising from a complaint from the Board of Directors of the Bank, and about that which I received from some shareholders expressing different points of view.

“Following this meeting, several publications in the international press were brought to my attention concerning the content of the deliberations of said meeting. This leads me to make clarifications to avoid any misunderstanding

“The Office which I chair wishes to reassure the public that it has taken up the matter and is treating it with the greatest rigour and with all the seriousness that it deserves. However, the Office informs the public that no decision has been made as falsely conveyed in some publications.

“I must emphasize that there is no institutional crisis within the African Development Bank Group. Above all, in no case has the President of the Bank Group been asked to resign.

‘Everyone must allow the Office to do its work and let the process of examining this case take its course. The opinion of all the governors will be sought for its successful outcome.”



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