The whistle blowers who slapped Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank, (AfDB) with seventeen allegations of wrongdoing may have paradoxically given him a Second terms on a platter of gold. The Mary Robinson panel put together to take another look at the report of the Ethics Committee which scrutinized the allegations initially has cleared Dr. Adesina of all allegations.
The panel’s exoneration of Dr. Adesina would definitely translate to his higher standing in terms of moral authority. It not only guarantees him his Second term, it also translates to a dirty slap on President Donald Trump’s face for insisting on additional scrutiny. Above all, the complainants are made to look amateurish and foolish by making allegations without providing the evidence. At the end of the day, they could not win on a single allegation.
The panel of three had, aside from Robinson, the former Irish President, Justice Hassan B Jallow from The Gambia and Leonard F McCarthy from the World Bank. Its report is a product of six zoom meetings.
The Panel which not only scrutinized what the Ethics Committee did to the allegations by the whistle blowers but also the bank president’s responses started by noting a breach of procedure that the allegations were publicized and that it shouldn’t have been so.
In all cases, the panel agreed with the view of the Ethics Committee, describing the allegations as unsubstantiated and no more than rumours in certain cases.
The panel divided its work into two parts. The first part considered the complaints provided to the Ethics Committee by the whistle-blowers and found that they had been properly considered and dismissed by the Committee. The second considered the responses of the president of the bank within the logic of due process.
“The Panel is satisfied that the Ethics Committee considered the complaints received by it on 19 January 2020 in a comprehensive and responsible manner and followed correct procedures. It considered them, both as complaints submitted pursuant to the Resolution and pursuant to paragraph 4 of the Whistle-blowers Policy. It appropriately took the advice of the General Counsel in identifying its duty. It conducted a preliminary examination of the complaints as it was required. It took proper note of the criteria laid down for evaluating complaints and the sufficiency of supporting evidence. It consulted PIAC and the Auditor General. It engaged in discussion and debate of each individual complaint and reached a consensus on the outcome. It applied the correct standard and prepared a report for submission to the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Board of Governors”
The 33 page report states that the President’s submissions were, on their face value, “consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive”.