Tuesday, July 28, 2020 / 09:52 AM / By Proshare
Research / Header Image Credit: Africa News
The Independent Review Panel set up to investigate Dr Akinwunmi Adesina has submitted its independent report and exonerated the AfDB President. The panel stated in its report that it is satisfied that the Ethics Committee considered the complaints in a comprehensive and responsible manner and also said It has considered the President's submissions on their face and finds them consistent with his innocence.
Below are the panel's conclusion regarding the Report of the Ethics Committee and its concluding observations on the AfDB President's response.
Related Link: AfDB Independent Review Panel
The Panel's Conclusions regarding Report of Ethics Committee
The Panel is satisfied that the Ethics Committee considered the complaints received by it on 19 January 2020 in a comprehensive and responsible manner and followed correct procedures. It considered them, both as complaints submitted pursuant to the Resolution and pursuant to paragraph 4 of the Whistle-blowers Policy. It appropriately took the advice of the General Counsel in identifying its duty.
It conducted a preliminary examination of the complaints as it was required. It took proper note of the criteria laid down for evaluating complaints and the sufficiency of supporting evidence. It consulted PIAC and the Auditor General.
It engaged in discussion and debate of each individual complaint and reached a consensus on the outcome. It applied the correct standard and prepared a report for submission to the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Board of Governors. The Panel concurs with the Committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the Committee.
Concluding Observations of the Panel on the President's Response
The Panel is mindful of the fact that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". At the same time, it appears to us to be an undue burden to expect a holder of high office in an international organization, to prove a negative, in the absence of sufficient grounds. An attorney writing on behalf of the President, also argues quite correctly in our view, that a distinction should be drawn between alleged institutional failure at the Bank and the conduct of the president. We have not attached any value to the Dissociation Note in our deliberations.
The President has also as part of his detailed submission enclosed 18 annexes, which he believed might be relevant and necessary to make his case and assert his right to due process. The Panel explained at the outset that it was dividing its Report into two parts. In the first part, it considered the complaints provided to the Ethics Committee by the whistle-blowers and found that they had been properly considered and dismissed by the Committee.
In its second part, it considered, in the interests of due process, the responses of the President. While the Committee was not required to consider and did not, in fact consider, the President's responses, it was in the interests of fairness and of due process that the Panel be required to do so. As it has explained, the Panel has not passed judgment on the President's evidence. It has also borne in mind that the whistle-blowers' complaints were wrongly publicized and that fairness required that the President be heard. It has considered the President's submissions on their face and finds them consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive.