Nigeria’s Akinwumi Adesina will step back as African Development Bank boss after the regional bank agrees to probe him again following pressures from US president Donald Trump.
The African Development Bank’s board has agreed to open a fresh independent investigation of its President Akinwumi Adesina after the U.S. rejected an internal investigation that cleared him of allegations of favoritism, according to a Bloomberg report.
Africa’s largest multilateral lender decided on the inquiry after several governments backed U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s criticism of a bank-led examination into the allegations, the report stated.
Adesina, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, may have to step back from the role until the probe is completed, ElombahNews has learnt.
Unidentified whistleblowers accused Adesina, 60, of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions.
The Abidjan-based lender declined to comment. Adesina didn’t respond to an emailed request seeking comment, while a call to his mobile phone didn’t connect.
The proposed investigation comes three months before the bank’s annual meeting, at which Adesina is the sole candidate to extend his five-year term.
The AAA-rated lender’s 80 shareholders in October pledged to provide funding that will help to more than double its capital base to $208 billion.
Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland are among countries that wrote to the AfDB to back the Mnuchin’s demands for professional outsiders to look into the allegations, according to Bloomberg. A representative for the Nordics declined to comment.
Mnuchin last week wrote to the AfDB to express “deep reservations” about the integrity of the lender’s ethics committee, after it exonerated Adesina.
The scope and detail of the allegations are serious enough for a further inquiry to ensure the AfDB’s shareholders have confidence in the bank’s leadership, Mnuchin said in the May 22 letter addressed to Niale Kaba, the chairwoman of the bank’s board of governors.