President of continental financial institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, has been accused by staff of flagrant violations of bank’s ethical codes by staff of the bank, an accusation he has flatly denied.
His accusers who identified themselves as “concerned staff members of the AfDB” who detailed what they said were infractions by Adesina in a letter to the bank’s governors, said the Nigerian carried out various cases of alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct: unethical conduct for private gain.
The group noted that they had initially followed established policies within the bank to voice their concerns but in early March came to the conclusion that the Ethics Committee was unable or unwilling to proceed with their preliminary examination of the complaint.
The accusers said Adesina’s policies were “impediment to efficiency,” even as they accused him of “preferential treatment,” which they said was “adversely affecting confidence in the integrity of the Bank and involvement in political activity”
“It looks as if a conscious effort is done by some staff members close to the President to sabotage all attempts by the Ethics Committee to perform its duties,” the accusers said.
The accusers, more than 12 in number, alleged that while Nigeria owned a little more than 9 percent of shares in AfDB, Nigerians made up roughly 25 percent of the newly recruited managerial functions in a massive recruitment drive that was launched due to the restructuring of the bank between 2016 and 2018.
The new managers allegedly include Adesina’s brother-in-law and his childhood friend.
The accusers also said that in the awards received by Adesina in 2017 and 2019 of $250 000 and $500 000 from groups in the US and South Korea, dozens of his family members attended the ceremonies at the expense of the bank.
“It is not clear if he received these awards as the President of the AfDB or as a private citizen, but dozens of people, bank staff, executive directors and others including family members attended the award ceremonies at the bank’s costs.
“If these awards were private, why did the bank support associated costs? If they were awarded to the President of the Group of the Bank were the awards returned to the Bank?” the petitioners asked.
However, Akinwumi Adesina who is seeking a second term as head of the bank has responded to the allegations, describing it as unfounded and spurious.
The 60-year-old former Minister of Agriculture under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria noted further that the board of directors’ ethics committee was carrying out an internal review that should proceed without interference from anyone or the media.
“I am 100 percent confident that due process and transparency, based on facts and evidence, will indicate that these are all nothing more than spurious and unfounded allegations,” Akinwumi Adesina said.