President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has denied allegations of “breaches of the Code of Conduct of Elected Officers of the Bank” leveled against him.
Recall that the United State is pressing for an independent probe into charges by whistleblowers — declared as unfounded by an internal inquiry — of alleged embezzlement and favouritism under Adesina, who is bidding for a second five-year term at the helm.
But in a statement he personally signed, the bank chief said he was innocent of the allegations against him adding that they were meant to tarnish his reputation.
He said: “In recent weeks and over the last few days especially, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support received from around the world.
“I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the bank that I lead and its governance systems, rules and procedures”.
He added: “In spite of unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation and prejudice the bank’s governance procedures, I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honor and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank”.
Adesina appreciated the support of the bank’s shareholders.
Continuing, he said he was confident that ultimately and as one collective, the Bank will emerge stronger than before and continue to support Africa’s development drive.
“I draw great inspiration from my heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan, whose lives have shown that through pain we grow. As Martin Luther King Jnr. once said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
” I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution.”
Adesina said he will continue to work with all shareholders to ensure the African Development Bank maintains its hard earned global reputation; and that our credible and well-functioning institutional and governance systems are reinforced, as we collectively press on to fulfill the mission of our founders to accelerate and transform Africa’s development.
On January 19, 2020, a group within the bank petitioned the committee, headed by Takuji Yano, the institution’s Japan Executive Director, to demand investigations into 16 allegations against Adesina.
In the petition, the group which has not revealed the identity of its members, alleged “breaches of the Code of Conduct of Elected Officers of the Bank” by Adesina.