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Panel clears Adesina off corruption allegations, raises re-election chances

By News Desk

The African Bank of Development (AfDB) presidential election scheduled for next month may have been concluded after the sole candidate, Akinwumi Adesina, was cleared of all corruption allegations raised against him by whistleblowers.

Adesina, the current AFDB boss who came into office in 2015, had earlier this year signified interest to seek for re-election when a 15-page report emanated and alleged that his policies affected AFDB performance, encouraged impunity and favouritism and personally enriched himself.

An independent panel of experts, headed by former Irish president, Mary Robinson, meanwhile, has cleared the beleaguered leader of the allegations raised against him.

The panel of three experts, led by Robinson alongside Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and the World Bank’s integrity vice president, Leonard McCarthy, cleared Adesina of all charges alleged by whistleblowers.

In a report released by the committee, it described the 60-year-old Nigerian former minister of agriculture, as innocent and was not involved in any sharp practices.

“The Panel concurs with the 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 committee’s report concluded.

It would be recalled that the African banking institution and Adesina have been battered by the rollercoaster of allegations after the whistleblowers’ complaints were leaked to the media in April.

Robinson, who led Ireland from 1990 to 1997 before serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights until 2002, dismissed the 16 whistleblower allegations against Adesina.

The AfDB plays an important if the largely behind-the-scenes role in African economies, financing projects in agriculture, health, energy, education, transport, and other development sectors.

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