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How Ethics Committee Cleared AfDB President Adesina – Full Report



AfDB: U.S. govt demands fresh probe into allegations against Adesina

Inside AfDB ‘whistleblower’ allegations against Akinwumi Adesina

The Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) acted in line with established rules in clearing the president of the bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, of allegations of impropriety and fraud, PREMIUM TIMES findings have shown.

The allegations were raised in January in a petition by a group of concerned staff of the bank.

The committee, headed by Takuji Yano, the institution’s Japan Executive Director, investigated the allegations and in its report on May 5 cleared Mr Adesina of all the 16 counts.

The committee dismissed the allegations as “spurious and unfounded.”

Regardless, on May 22, the United States government expressed “deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process” and called for a fresh “in-depth investigation of the allegations.”

In a letter to the Chairperson, Board of Governors of the AfDB Group, Nialé Kaba, the Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, faulted the Committee’s decision to exonerate Mr Adesina of all allegations.

Mr Mnuchin said Mr Adesina should not be declared innocent until an “independent outside investigator of high professional standing” has undertaken an evaluation of the facts of the allegations.

Due process

But, a review of the provisions of Article 3 of Resolution No. B/BG/2008/11 of the Bank and the Bank’s “Whistleblowing and Complaints Handling Policy” obtained exclusively by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday showed the committee followed due process before handing in its verdict.

The Board of Governors of the Bank in its resolution No. B/BG/2008/11 adopted at the 43rd Annual Meeting held on May 14, 2008 made the Code of Conduct for its Executive Directors and those of the African Development Fund (ADF) also applicable to the President of the Bank Group.

Article 3 of the resolution empowered the Ethics Committee to “conduct a preliminary examination of a complaint or allegation received by it to determine whether it is based on apparently solid justifications, with a view to submitting it to the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Board of Governors.”

The resolution also gave the conditions under which the Committee should make a submission to the Board of Governors after its preliminary examination.

If the preliminary examination of the complaint or allegation reveals it was “frivolous or not based on any objective and solid facts”, the resolution empowered the Committee to dismiss it.

On the other hand, it said if the preliminary examination of the complaint or allegations revealed facts capable of establishing violations of the Code of Conduct, the Committee was empowered to submit the complaints or allegations to the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Board of Governors for further examination.

Due process timelines

The committee received an email from the “Group of Concerned Staff Members” on January 19, titled “Disclosure of Acts Related to Alleged Breach of the Code of Ethics by an Elected Officer.”

A copy of the mail was sent to the Director of the Integrity & Anti-Corruption office (PIAC) of the Bank, the Chairperson of the Audit and Finance Committee (AUFI).

The committee immediately drew the attention of the Board of Directors of the Bank to the petition.

But, to determine which, between the Audit and Finance Committee (AUFI) of the Board and the Director of the Integrity and Anti-corruption Office (PIAC), had the legal mandate to handle the complaint, a restricted meeting of the Board was held.

On February 4, the Committee approached the General Counsel of the Bank to seek not only further clarification on its mandate but to solicit the legal advice on the admissibility of the petition form as filed.

The meeting was in addition to the oral evidence received by the Committee from the Director of the Anti-corruption & Integrity Office, and the Bank’s Auditor-General.

The following day, the Committee at an informal meeting conducted a point-by-point examination of all the allegations to confirm their substantive validity.

At the end of the meeting, the committee resolved to write to the petitioners for additional information on their allegations.

On February 7, the Committee formally sent a copy of the petition to Mr Adesina and demanded his official response.

On February 14, the Committee sent an email to the petitioners to request additional information to sustain their allegations.

However, in their response the following day, the petitioners declined the committee’s request, opting to maintain their anonymity. They argued that providing any further evidence would uncover their identities.

On February 10, Mr Adesina’s legal counsel sent a letter to the Committee on the matter. A similar letter was also sent on March 10.

However, the Committee decided to ignore the letters on the ground that Mr Adesina did not inform it the letters were from his legal representative.

Consequently, between February 27 and April 9, the committee held about five meetings to examine the 16 allegations contained in the petition.

On April 8, the committee received a memorandum from Mr Adesina conveying his response to the petition, which was transmitted to the Board of Governors, accompanied with other documents on the matter.

Committee report

On completion of the preliminary review of all the allegations in the petition, the Committee in its report to the Chairman, Board of Governors, dismissed them, having established they were “not based on any objective and solid facts” pursuant to Resolution No. B/BG/2008/11.

Besides, the committee drew the attention to Article 4 of Resolution No. B/BG/2008/11 which vests in the Chairman of the Board the prerogative to act in consultation with other members to finally determine whether or not a reasonable basis exists to pursue the allegations against Mr Adesina further.

Akinwumi Adesina has been accused by a group of anonymous whistleblowers within the organisation of handing contracts to acquaintances and appointing relatives to strategic positions at the bank, allegations he has consistently denied.

Adesina, a former Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was elected as the 8th President of the AFDB on Thursday, May 28, 2015.

He succeeded Donald Kaberuka of Rwanda, and assumed duty on September 1, 2015 in Abidjan

(Premium Times, with additional reports by SunriseNigeria)

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open



Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume



The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.


It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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