“I Have NOT VIOLATED the CODE OF CONDUCT” – Dr Akinwumi Adesina
The AfDB President has since responded, point by point, to the allegations against him by whistleblowers, in a statement to the Bank’s Ethics Committee. And he concluded that every single one of the 16 allegations against him remained unsubstantiated.
The point is that Dr Adesina has chosen to work NOT in the interest of USA but of Africa. So, it is more than clear where all these are coming from and why they will never go away in the chessboard of United States of America officials. This kind of endeavour is typical and legendary of those who are pursuing it. Run through the list of the experts they even say Dr Adesina brought on board. These are world class experts and what do you do when you have highest standard assignments if you do not bring such materials. Do the rules forbid recruiting anyone known to anyone?
On the appointment of an official, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu. Adesina said she was recruited through a globally advertised, open and competitive recruitment process.
On the appointment and elevation of another official, Mr. Martin Fregene, said: “He is not my brother-in-law. There is no evidence he is. Second, Mr. Fregene is a world-class geneticist, internationally renowned for his work on plant genetics of cassava, and who worked earlier at CIAT, Colombia, one of the CGIAR centres”.
On allegations against him concerning the TAAT, he said these are belied by objective and solid facts demonstrating no violation of the Code of Conduct. “TAAT (Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation) is an initiative of the Bank developed to help take agricultural technologies to the scale of millions of farmers across Africa. “Although some staff made some mistakes in the procurement process, this is being investigated by the Bank and no findings have been made yet. There was no impropriety. “The president does not get involved in contractual issues in the Bank, except in cases involving matters that may affect the image, reputation and interests of the Bank,”
Concerning the appointments and promotions of Mrs. Maria Mulundi, Adesina explained that she worked with him prior to joining the Bank. “She was part of my transition management team as I prepared to take office at the Bank following my election as President, and she very ably led all engagements with the Bank with my transition team. All Presidents of the Bank can bring in and appoint their own Chief of Staff and advisers, to help them to implement their mandate,”
On the appointment of Victor Oladokun, he said they were in the university together and have been very close friends since then. Further, he noted, there was nothing in the Bank rules that says that being a friend of anyone in the Bank, who gets recruited at the Bank, is against Bank rules.
He also pointed out that on contracting of Kapil Kapoor, AfDB, “under my chairmanship of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) Heads, was tasked to help further develop my proposal to the group on how we can work collectively to leverage global institutional investors to invest in infrastructure and other sectors.”
Another allegation was the appointment of Emmanuel Ezinwa who was allegedly found guilty of sexual harassment. He explained: “The truth is that I do not know Mr. Ezinwa and have never met him in the African Development Bank.”
There was also the allegation of awards received by the President and costs borne by the Bank. Adesina said: “I received the World Food Prize ($250,000) and the Sunhak Peace Prize ($500,000) in recognition of a life of accomplishments in the field of agriculture. “Although they were individual prizes, they brought great credit and prestige to the AfDB.”
On the allegation of settlements for staff separations, he said: “The allegation that somehow the former Chief Economist, Mr. Celestine Monga, departed the Bank with improper payments is false. The Chief Economist was not dismissed. Contract non-renewal is not dismissal of staff.”
He also addressed the issue of Mr. Charles Lufumpa’s appointment as acting VP and Chief Economist: “The allegations against me over the appointment of Charles Lufumpa as Acting Vice President and Chief Economist are patently false. My conclusion after a careful review of the case of Charles Lufumpa is that the investigations conducted were very faulty and cannot prove the allegations made against him. My review also showed a well-orchestrated effort to make Mr. Lufumpa a scapegoat for failures of others to do their job at the African Development Bank.”
The 15th allegation was disregard for rules concerning leave of absence of VPs or travel of management. “The President does not monitor or manage time off for staff as that’s done by the Human Resources. The truth is the Vice President had personal medical issues that he had to get attended to (his private life must be respected) that required him to be away for extended periods, as needed, and he travelled with full knowledge of the department of health of the Bank, which was monitoring him while away on medical reasons, “he said.
On political lobbying of Heads of State, Adesina said: “It is alleged that as President I basically bribed and corrupted the 16 African Heads of State and governments in the ECOWAS region to support my candidacy for re-election. The allegation essentially impugns the integrity, leadership and honesty of 16 African presidents and ECOWAS. This is a fanciful and baseless allegation”.
It is left for African Heads of States to know that the salvation of Africa is in their own hands not in anyone else’s.