Akinwunmi Adesina has denied media reports that he has stepped down as African Development Bank (AfDB) President to make way for an independent investigation against corruption allegations made against.
The government of the United States, a major shareholder in AfDB had called for an independent investigation after an earlier probe that was carried out internally cleared him of all charges.
Adesina, in a statement on Wednesday however said he remained in office and expressed confidence in the bank’s institutional framework, describing it as solid and efficient.
The AfDB president said, “In recent weeks and over the last few days especially, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support received from around the world. I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the Bank that I lead and its governance systems, rules and procedures.
“In spite of unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation and prejudice the Bank’s governance procedures, 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.”
He said, “I sincerely appreciate the support of the Bank’s shareholders. 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.”
Adesina added, “I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution.
“I will therefore continue to work with each and every one of our shareholders to ensure that the African Development Bank maintains its hard earned global reputation; and that our credible and well-functioning institutional and governance systems are reinforced, as we collectively press on to fulfill the mission of our founder to accelerate and transform Africa’s development.”