On July 28, an independent audit panel finally exonerated the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akin Adesina, after a string of charges had threatened to snap his credibility.
In a 16 point allegation surfacing from whistleblowers in different sections of the organisation, an internal ethics committee was immediately set up to investigate the allegations against Adesina and determine his culpability.
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After a painstaking effort, the committee could not find any reason to indict Adesina and so cleared him of all charges. Yet, a group of crucial investors in the AfDB, led Steven Mnuchin of the United State’s Treasury Secretary’s Office, were not satisfied with the outcome of the investigations and so demanded for another round of investigations.
The high-level independent panel which was led by former Ireland president, Mary Johnson, and other prominent figures around the world, began to take an unbiased look into the original allegations. They also exonerated Adesina.
There was so little that Nigeria – which incidentally the largest shareholder in AfDB – could do to back up their country folk than to publicly provide the needed moral support while the Mnuchin caucus have their way. Adesina got nationwide support amidst the smear campaign.
The Fight for Credibility:
The level of scrutiny being extended to Adesina’s administration was suggested by some quarters to be a campaign of calumny designed to anoint another president of the AfDB through the disqualification of Adesina from the incoming elections.
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For the short period that the whole campaign against Adesina lasted, it remained one of the most serious scandals to threaten the public service records of the economist from Nigeria.
Origianlly nominated by former President Goodluck Jonathan and supported by President Muhammadu Buhari, Adesina has spent a total of 5 years as president of AfDB with impressive results. Going for a second time unopposed was reported to have rattled some investors or estranged candidates who felt too intimidated to contest with Adesina.
Bottomline: Adesina’s first term as president elapses on 31st August 2020.
With the message of congratulations from the office of the Nigerian presidency, the statement by the AfDB independent panel gave a coast-clear for Akin Adesina to present himself for another term heading the bank.
Unsurprisingly, Adesina still has the support of many African nations considering how much the infrastructure funding and development bank has impacted national projects in Africa.
Adesina, at the helm of affairs at the AfDB rests us assured that the AfDB will continue to look after the developmental interests of Nigeria as much as its African neighbours without fear or favour.
Featured Image Source: Pan African Visions
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