An independent review panel of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), has exonerated President of the multilateral lender, Akinwunmi Adesina, of all charges.

The independent review panel was led by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland.

In May, a group of unidentified whistle-blowers accused the former Nigerian Agriculture minister of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions at the bank.

After the bank’s ethics committee found no evidence to support allegations of favoritism leveled against Adesina, the U.S called for an independent probe.

In a letter dated May 22, 2020 and addressed to Niale Kaba, who is chairperson of the AfDB’s Board of Governors, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said her country rejected plans by the AfDB’s board to end an investigation into its president.

Mnuchin also said the Treasury disagreed with findings by the bank’s ethics committee that “totally exonerated” Adesina.

President Buhari receives Akin Adesina at the State House on June 2, 2020 (Presidency)
President Buhari receives Akin Adesina at the State House on June 2, 2020 (Presidency)

In June, the bank said it will carry out an independent review of the report in line with due process.

In a statement, AfDB’s board of governors said it believed the bank’s ethics committee, which produced the report, had carried out its role correctly.

“The independent review shall be conducted by a neutral high caliber individual with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity,” AfDB announced in a statement.

The independent review has now been completed and Adesina, who is due for re-election in August, has been given a clean bill of health.

The panel of three experts was led by Robinson alongside Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and the World Bank’s integrity Vice President Leonard McCarthy.

"The panel concurs with the committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the committee,” Monday’s report concluded.