A panel has been constituted by the bureau of the board of governors of the African Development Bank Group to conduct an independent review of the report of the ethics committee on the allegations made by whistleblowers against the president of the bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
A communique released by the Bank on Wednesday said that it agreed on the terms of reference for the independent review at its meetings of June 18 and July 1, 2020.
The Bank said that three persons- Mary Robinson, Hassan B. Jallow and Leonard F. McCarthy, were selected to constitute “a High-Level Panel of Independent Experts to conduct the said review.”
Signed by the Governor for Cote d’Ivoire Niale Kaba, the communique noted that the bureau expresses its utmost trust and confidence in the panel’s ability to successfully carry out the assignment, while also reaffirming its commitment to fully assisting the panel in the process.
In a petition by the group of whistleblowers, Adesina was accused of breaching the bank’s code of conduct, including “unethical conduct, private gain, an impediment to efficiency, preferential treatment, and involvement in political activities.”
The group, which noted that their allegations were in line with AfDB’s whistleblowing policy, said these activities adversely affected the confidence and integrity of the bank.
The bank, however, found the allegations to be “frivolous” and thus cleared Adesina.
The United States government, however, said that it expressed “deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process” and called for a fresh “in-depth investigation of the allegations.”
Meanwhile, the bureau in its latest communique, said that the new panel is made up of individuals “with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and professional integrity.”
Accordin to the AfDB, Mrs Robinson, who is chair of the panel, is a barrister and 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.
Mr 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 February 5, 2017, Mr Jallow was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Gambia.
Mr 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.