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Ireland Mary Robinson will lead the independent investigation into the president of the AfDB

07:05  02 july  2020
07:05  02 july  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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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. Kaba confirmed receipt of the document and declined further comment. The intervention by the Treasury, the AfDB ’s biggest

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Le président de la Banque africaine de développement Akinwumi Adesina, en septembre 2019 à Ouagadougou © ISSOUF SANOGO The president of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina, in September 2019 in Ouagadougou

The former Irish president Mary Robinson will chair the panel of experts in charge of the independent investigation into accusations of prevarication against the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Nigerian Akinwumi Adesina, the only candidate for re-election, according to a press release released Wednesday evening.

"The Bureau (of the AfDB Board of Governors) retained Ms. Mary Robinson, Mr. Hassan B. Jallow and Mr. Leonard F. McCarthy to form a panel of high-level independent experts to lead the" investigation, according to the text signed in particular by Kaba Nialé, president of the Bureau and former Ivorian minister.

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Mary Robinson , the President of Ireland since 1990, has been selected as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The appointment, announced yesterday by the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, means that she will almost certainly have to relinquish the Irish presidency a

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Mr. Adesina, 60, elected in 2015 as head of the AfDB, has been the subject since the beginning of the year of a series of embarrassing accusations, disclosed in the press in April.

The Bureau of the AfDB, one of the five main multilateral development banks in the world, expressed "its full confidence" in the panel which will be "chaired by Mrs. Robinson" and composed of "people with experience and professional integrity indisputable, as well as a proven international reputation. "

L'ex-présidente d'Irlande Mary Robinson, en décembre 2019 lors d'un forum sur le climat à Madrid © CRISTINA QUICLER The former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, in December 2019 during a climate forum in Madrid

The office will have to report "within a period of two to four weeks maximum", according to text.

President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, Mrs. Robinson, a lawyer by profession, was then United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002.

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Judge Hassan B. Jallow was Attorney General, Minister of Justice and President of the Supreme Court in The Gambia. He has also been a judge of the Court of Appeal of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and a prosecutor with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), according to the ADB press release.

Vice President for Integrity at the World Bank for nine years, Leonard F. McCarthy was Director of Public Prosecutions, Director of the Office of Economic Crimes and Head of the South Africa Special Operations Directorate, according to the communicated.

- Charges of favoritism -

Whistleblowers in a report accuse Mr. Adesina of favoritism in numerous appointments of senior officials, in particular of Nigerian compatriots, of having appointed or promoted suspected or convicted persons fraud or corruption, or to have granted them comfortable severance packages without penalizing them.

Charges refuted by Mr. Adesina, the first Nigerian to direct the AfDB since its creation in 1964, who claims his "innocence", and who was quickly exonerated by the Bank on the basis of a report by its ethics committee internal.

But the United States, the second largest shareholder in the AfDB after Nigeria, demanded at the end of May the launch of an independent investigation, calling into question the work of the ethics committee and causing a serious crisis in the Pan-African institution.

While his re-election seemed assured six months ago, with the support of the African Union and after a giant capital increase of 115 billion dollars successful in October 2019, the position of Mr. Adesina, former Nigerian minister of the 'Agriculture, now appears more and more fragile.

pgf / plh / roc

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