HURIWA celebrates exoneration of Adesina by AfDB Independent Review Panel

Posted by News Express | 29 July 2020 | 891 times

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•AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina


The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed satisfaction with the emerging information that an external probe panel has granted a clean bill of health to the President of African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adewunmi.

HURIWA recalled that the Independent Review Panel was set up by the Bureau of Governors of the Bank, following a complaint by the United States, to review the process by which two previous organs of the Bank – the Ethics Committee of the Board, and the Bureau of the Board of Governors – had previously exonerated Adesina.

HURIWA recalled that a distinguished three-member Independent Review Panel include Mary Robinson, who is a former President of the Republic of Ireland, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Chairperson of the Elders, a global body of wise persons concerned with the world’s wellbeing; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Gambia, Mr. Hassan B. Jallow; and Mr. Leonard F. McCarthy, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, a former Director for the Office of Serious Economic Offences, and a former Head of the Directorate of Special Operations of South Africa. He also served as the Vice President of Integrity for the World Bank for nine years.

Recall that in January 2020, 16 allegations of ethical misconduct were leveled against Akinwumi Adesina by a group of whistleblowers. The allegations which were reviewed by the Bank’s Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors in March, were described as “frivolous and without merit.” The findings and rulings of the Ethics Committee were subsequently upheld by the apex Bureau of the Board of Governors in May, which cleared Adesina of any wrongdoing.

However, the report of the Independent Review Panel states that it “concurs with the (Ethics) 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.”

The Panel once again vindicates Adesina and states, “it has considered the President’s submissions on their face and finds them consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive.”

Reacting to this clearance granted to the Nigeria born technocrat, the rights group which had recently carpeted the American representative on the board for demanding external vetting of the clearance earlier granted Dr Adesina by the governors of the financial institution, stated that the community of Nigerian human rights activists have always known that Dr Adesina is a good man of good reputation.

“We are delighted that the confidence and trust that we have on this excellent Nigerian has not gone in vein and we are by this media statement urging Dr Adesina and his team not to be distracted by detractors and to stay focused on building up the African Development Bank into one of the best and well respected global funding platforms in a short time from now.” 

HURIWA said it had earlier confirmed that the entire body of the organised civil rights community in Nigeria has passed a vote of confidence on Dr Adesina.

The group has resolved to send a letter of protest to the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, to call his Treasury Secretary to order so as to stop the attempt to destabilize AfDB.

The rights group further said it had objected to the insistence of the US Treasury Department that Dr Adesina should be investigated by the so-called external examiners when in actual fact the Ethics Committee of the bank, headed by a Japanese, had already granted a clean bill of health to the AfDB President, who is the sole candidate for the bank’s presidency for another five years.

The human rights organisation reminded Trump that as the President of the United States he had to subject himself to the internal mechanisms of scrutiny within the Congress when the matter of his impeachment by the congress dominated by the democrats in the House successfully impeached him.

However, the group said he couldn’t be removed because the internal mechanisms within the Senate was deployed including the refusal to entertain further witnesses through a democratic voting system, which dismissed the allegations of impeachable offences against him.

HURIWA had wondered that if external panel of independent investigators were not constituted to try President Donald Trump how come the Treasury Secretary in his cabinet who is determined to scuttle the growth and advancement of the African Development Bank, be seen asking that its President, Adesina, who was declared innocent, be again subjected to another round of investigations by outsiders as against the established traditions of the AfDB?

“We therefore, calling on the United States of America’s government to call its Executive Director at the African Development Bank, Stephen Dowd, to order. As we gathered, informed sources have linked the Executive Director to allegations levelled against Akinwunmi Adesina. It appears that he is on a personal mission to bring down the Bank, thereby exposing the United States to public ridicule and hurting American interest in Africa.

“We hope that this is not an agenda from the White House, but from individuals with clandestine agenda that is unfavourable to Africa.”

HURIWA also applauded the decisions of both President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo and ECOWAS to stand by Dr Adesina. 

Source: News Express

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