In spite of spirited efforts in some quarters to tarnish his reputation and prejudice the bank’s governance procedures, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Nigeria’s Dr Akinwumi Adesina, say he is unperturbed by the development, saying he is innocent of the alleged offences.
Adesina, a former Minister of Agriculture in the Goodluck Jonathan administration with a track record of performance, described the allegations as trumped up that unjustly seek to impugn his hard-earned honor and integrity as well as the reputation of the bank.
Persecondnews recalls that the United States Department of Treasury had earlier called for an “independent probe’’ of allegations levelled against Adesina bordering on corruption.
He had been investigated and cleared by the bank’s Ethics Committee.
Adesina, however, in a statement personally signed by him on Wednesday, said: “In recent weeks and over the last few days especially, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support received from around the world.
“In spite of unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation and prejudice the bank’s governance procedures, I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honor and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank.
“I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the bank that I lead and its governance systems, rules and procedures. I sincerely appreciate the support of the bank’s shareholders.
“At this time, I remain confident that ultimately and as one collective, the bank will emerge stronger than before and continue to support Africa’s development drive.
“I draw great inspiration from my heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Anan whose lives have shown that through the pain we grow.’’
Insisting that he had not broken any law, Adesina stated:“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the bank, and the rule of law will ultimately prove that I have not violated the code of ethics of this extraordinary Institution.
“I will continue to work with each and every one of our shareholders to ensure that AfDB maintains its hard-earned global reputation and that our credible and well-functioning institutional and governance systems are reinforced.’’
Persecondnews also recalls that a group within the bank had on January 19, 2020, petitioned the committee headed by Takuji Yano, the institution’s Japan Executive Director, demanding investigations into 16-point allegations against Adesina.
The group which has yet to reveal its identity had alleged “breaches of the Code of Conduct of Elected Officers of the Bank” by Adesina.