US To Investigate AfDB’s Decision To Halt Probe On Akinwumi Adesina.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin faulted plans by the African Development Bank’s board to end an investigation into its president, Akinwumi Adesina, and called for an independent probe into allegations against him.
Adesina was accused by a group of unidentified whistleblowers of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions at the Abidjan-based lender.
In a letter dated May 22 and addressed to Niale Kaba, chairwoman of the bank’s board of governors, Mnuchin said the Treasury disagrees with findings by the bank’s ethics committee that “totally exonerated” the president, Adesina. She confirmed receipt of the document and declined further comment.
The intervention by the Treasury, the AfDB’s biggest non-African shareholder, comes two weeks after the ethics committee found no evidence to support allegations of favoritism by Adesina. The 60-year-old bank chief, who has repeatedly refuted the allegations, is the only candidate up for election as president at an annual general meeting scheduled for August.
“We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process,” Mnuchin said. “Instead, we urge you to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing.”