Adesina Probe: US Treasury Secretary praises AFDB’s decision on independent review

The US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin on Thursday praised the African Development Bank’s decision for an independent probe of the bank’s president, Akinwunmi Adesina.

Mnuchin, while stating that institutions must be held to standards of transparency, commended the AfDB’s decision to pursue an independent review.

“International intuitions must adhere to the highest standards of governance and transparency, and the decision to pursue an independent review demonstrates the strength of the African Development Bank,”

“Undertaking an independent review is fully consistent with a presumption of innocence,” Mnuchin said.

Mr. Adesina was accused by a whistleblower of abusing his office with allegations of nepotism through handing contracts and appointments, accusations he has denied.

The AFDB said it supported an internal investigation that cleared Adesina. However, the US government demanded an independent review.

The panel will be chaired by former Irish president, Mary Robinson, and includes Gambian Chief Justice, Hassan Jallow, and Leonard McCarthy, former World Bank Vice president for Integrity and also an ex-South African government official.

They will review an ethics committee report that found zero evidence of wrongdoings on Adesina and the review is expected to be completed in 2–4 weeks.

The United State is the bank’s second-largest shareholder and called for an independent probe, rejecting the bank’s internal review.

President Buhari has assured Adesina of Nigeria and Africa’s backing from the American “onslaught”.

The shareholders of the bank also include all 54 African Nations and 27 others from the rest of the world and also serve as Africa’s largest multilateral bank.

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