The embattled president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina has issued a press statement this week dismissing allegations of corruption and favouritism leveled against him by the US.
The US holds the highest stake in the AfDB after Adesina’s home country, Nigeria.
Adesina assured he will continue to work as president as he fights his accusers to knock off rumour that he had stepped down.
“At this time, I remain confident that ultimately and as one collective, the Bank will emerge stronger than before and continue to support Africa’s development drive. I draw great inspiration from my heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan, whose lives have shown that through pain we grow. As Martin Luther King Jnr. once said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
“I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank,” said Adesina.
“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution,” he added in the statement.
Accused of arbitrary recruitment, private gain, nepotism including preferential treatment of Nigerians in senior appointments and promoting people found guilty of corruption, and political lobbying, among others, Adesina has maintained his innocence.
The bank’s Ethics Committee had dismissed the allegations. But the US is insisting on another probe fueling speculations that the allegations are politically motivated.
He is billed for a second run in office later this year and already has the support of most of the 54 African countries.