U.S. welcomes independent probe of ethics report that cleared AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina of corruption allegations

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The United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday welcomed the African Development Bank’s decision to appoint former Irish President Mary Robinson and two other legal experts to independently review an ethics report clearing President Akinwumi Adesina of allegations of corruption.

“I welcome the African Development Bank Governors’ decision to conduct an independent review of the work of the Bank’s Ethics Committee and its appointment of a high-level panel led by former Irish President Mary Robinson to conduct the review,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

“Undertaking an independent review is fully consistent with a presumption of innocence. International financial institutions must adhere to the highest standards of governance and transparency, and the decision to pursue an independent review demonstrates the strength of the African Development Bank,” he said.

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Mary Robinson in discussion with Hector Castañón and Christiana Figueres at the Walk Together to Fight Inequality event hosted by The Elders, the Fight Inequality Alliance, and Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity. Old Theatre, LSE Old Building on the 17th April 2018.
Mary Robinson in discussion with Hector Castañón and Christiana Figueres at the Walk Together to Fight Inequality event hosted by The Elders, the Fight Inequality Alliance, and Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity. Old Theatre, LSE Old Building on the 17th April 2018.

On July 1, the African Development Bank named a former President of Ireland, a former attorney general in The Gambia and a Washington DC-based legal expert to independently review an ethics report clearing President Akinwumi Adesina.

In a communique issued on Wednesday by the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group, Ms. Niale KABA, Governor for Côte d’Ivoire, and First Vice Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group, Mr. Christian ASINELLI Alternate, Governor for Argentina, the AfDB said the three-person panel is expected to submit its report to the Bureau within a period of two to four weeks maximum.

Members of the panel include Mrs. Mary Robinson, a Barrister by profession, and a former President of the Republic of Ireland, Justice Hassan B. Jallow, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of the Gambia as well as a former Justice of the Supreme Court of the Gambia, and Leonard F. McCarthy, who is 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 served as the Integrity Vice President of the World Bank for nine years, and is currently the President of LFMcCarthy Associates, Inc., an integrity risk management company based in Washington, D.C, USA.

Read full communique below as received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC

COMMUNIQUE OF THE BUREAU OF THE BOARDS OF GOVERNORS OF THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK GROUP FOLLOWING ITS MEETING OF TODAY 1 JULY 2020 REGARDING THE WHISTLE-BLOWERS’ COMPLAINT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT OF THE BANK GROUP


a) The Bureau recalls its Communiqué issued on June 4th 2020 informing the general public of its decision to authorize an Independent Review of the Report of the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors relative to the allegations made by Whistle blowers against the President of the Bank Group.

b) The Bureau agreed on the Terms of Reference for the Independent Review at its meetings of 18 June 2020 and 1st July 2020 and selected three persons namely, Mrs. Mary Robinson, Mr. Hassan B. Jallow and Mr. Leonard F. McCarthy to constitute a High-Level Panel of Independent Experts to conduct the said Review – individuals with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and professional integrity. The panel will be chaired by Mrs. Robinson.

Mrs. Mary Robinson is a Barrister by profession and is a former President of the Republic of Ireland. She was also the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She, among other numerous global and national responsibilities, is the Chairperson of the Elders, a global body of wise persons concerned about the wellbeing of the world.

Justice Hassan B. Jallow is a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of the Gambia as well as a former Justice of the Supreme Court of the Gambia. In 2003 he was appointed as a Judge of the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and later that year as the Prosecutor of the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). On 5 February 2017, Justice Jallow was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Gambia.

Leonard F. McCarthy is 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 served as the Integrity Vice President of the World Bank for nine years. Mr. McCarthy is currently the President of LFMcCarthy Associates, Inc., an integrity risk management company based in Washington, D.C, USA.

c) The panel is expected to submit its report to the Bureau within a period of two to four weeks maximum.

d) The Bureau expresses its utmost trust and confidence in the Panel’s ability to successfully carry out this important assignment and reaffirms its commitment to fully assisting the Panel in the process.

Issued this 1st day of July 2020.

Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group Ms. Niale KABA Governor for Côte d’Ivoire

First Vice Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group Mr. Christian ASINELLI Alternate Governor for Argentina

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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