Home Latest Insights | News Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, Responds To The Allegations

Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, Responds To The Allegations

Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, Responds To The Allegations

Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has responded (dated April 8, 2020) to the allegations against him courtesy of Premium Times. Read below…

Allegation No. 1

Not provided

Tekedia Mini-MBA edition 14 (June 3 – Sept 2, 2024) begins registrations; get massive discounts with early registration here.

Tekedia AI in Business Masterclass opens registrations here.

Join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and invest in Africa’s finest startups here.

Allegation No. 2: Appointment of Mrs Chinelo ANOHU-AMAZU

ADESINA: Ms Chinelo Anohu-AMAZU was recruited through a globally advertised, open and competitive recruitment process. The search process was carried out by a top notch external recruitment firm, Russell Reynolds of the UK. She was one of two top candidates (both women) recommended to me as President to consider for appointment by the panel. But, I can state categorically that the allegations made against her are untrue and defamatory.

Allegation No 3: Appointment and promotions of Martin FREGENE

ADESINA: Mr Fregene 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, and subsequently as Director at the Danforth Plant Science Centre (probably the second largest private agricultural research centres in the United States).

He returned from the diaspora to Nigeria to work as Chief Technical Advisor when I was Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria. He was hired as a consultant by the Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blake, to support her in the development of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy. I approved the recommended hire which was entirely within my power to do.

Allegation No. 4: Mismanagement of the TAAT programme

ADESINA: Allegations against me concerning the TAAT are belied by objective and solid facts demonstrating no violation by me of the Code of Conduct.

TAAT 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.

Allegation No. 5: Appointments and promotions of Mrs Maria MULUNDI

ADESINA: Ms Maria Mulindi worked with me 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 are allowed to bring in and appoint their own Chief of Staff and advisers, to help them to implement their mandate.

Allegation No 6: Direct contracting and appointment of Victor OLADOKUN

ADESINA: We went to the university together and have been very close friends since then. There is 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.

Allegation No. 7: Contracting of Kapil KAPOOR

ADESINA: The African Development Bank, 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.

Kapil Kapoor, who was previously the Director of Strategy and Policies of the Bank, prior to his appointment as the Director General for Southern Africa, had been leading this work working closely with all other MDBs.

Kapil was essentially doing this work on top of his regular work as Director General. He retired from the Bank at the end of August 2019.

Allegation No. 8: Appointment of Emmanuel EZINWA:

ADESINA: The allegation that “A Nigerian, Mr EZINWA was found guilty of sexually harassing a colleague during his probation period; and despite his misconduct, (I) requested that Mr. EZINWA’s contract be confirmed, thus forcing the HR Director, Mrs Frauke HARNISCHFEGER resign is false.

The truth is that I do not know Mr EZINWA and have never met him in the Bank. The President does not get involved in any staff appraisals except for Vice Presidents and direct reports.

The then HR Director, Mr. David Ssegawa, evaluated the staff and there was nothing about sexual harassment.

Mrs Frauke HARNISCHFEGER was not the HR Director in 2018. The HR Director in 2018 was Mr David Ssegawa, who evaluated the staff and recommended the staff, as per the standard procedures of the Bank, to the President. Ms HARNISCHFEGER joined the Bank in 2019, one year after a confirmation recommendation made by the predecessor HR Director.

Allegation No 9: Preferential treatment for Nigeria and Nigerians

ADESINA: I did not introduce an organisational chart with a Nigeria Country Directorate. The decision to open a Nigeria Country Directorate was taken by the Board of Directors under my predecessor, the former President of the Bank, Donald Kaberuka.

Allegation No 10: Awards received by the President and costs borne by the Bank

ADESINA: 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.

I brought further credit to myself and the Bank by donating these two cash awards for the establishment of the World Hunger Fighters Foundation, a foundation that has garnered contributions from others and now funds the Borlaug Adesina Fellows Fellowship for young African Agribusiness Innovators.

The expenses of the World Food Prize event, including musical entertainment (musical groups from Nigeria and the Glee Club from Purdue University (my alma mater) were defrayed by the World Food Prize Foundation.

Allegation 11: Settlements for staff separations

ADESINA: 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.

Allegation 12: Resignation of Mr David SSEGAWA

ADESINA: Mr Ssegawa was the HR Director. It is not true that I, as President, allowed him to resign when there was an investigation. There was absolutely no investigation of David Ssegawa when he resigned, nor was one contemplated.

Allegation No 13: Resignation of Mr Michel-Cyr DJIENA-WEMBOU

ADESINA: The allegation that I allowed the country manager to resign when he was under investigation for corruption is false. The President does not run country offices. They are under a Director General and overall oversight of a Vice President.

Allegation No. 14: Appointment of Mr Charles LUFUMPA as acting VP and Chief Economist

ADESINA: The allegations against me over the appointment of Charles Lufumpa as Acting Vice President and Chief Economist are patently false. My conclusion after 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.

Allegation No. 15: Disregard of rules concerning leave of absence of VPs or travel of management.

ADESINA: 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.

Allegation No 16: Political lobbying of Heads of State

ADESINA: 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.


In summary, every single one of the 16 allegations against me in the Disclosure remains unsubstantiated. I have not violated the Code of Conduct. The Ethics Committee should so find and dismiss the matter.

No posts to display

19 THOUGHTS ON Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President, Responds To The Allegations

  1. Many thank Prof. for making this responses available for read. This is quite a learning journey, leadership is not an easy job, true or false, the allegations and the responses are a learning point.
    May I humbly ask, Prof., what do you think about the allegations and responses?

  2. I think his response was strong and forceful enough, and this happened before the Ethics Committee gave its verdict.

    Now it’s for the accusers to step forward and provide credible evidence or counter claims. At some point, what really happened and how they happened would be clearer.

    For now, no smoking gun; just hot air everywhere.

    We are watching…

  3. This is how leader should comport him or herself when been criticized for wrong doing.
    Analyzing the sixteen points allegations is very commendable without any prejudice. It is a learning process for many African leaders who would have politicized the whole allegations.
    Nice one Dr. Adeshina

  4. Good responses from Dr. Adesina. I am glad that he has been given the benefit of the doubt.

    It will hopefully be a step in the right direction for some of the Nigerian based development finance institutions to learn from the good leadership of Dr. Adeshina.

    Institutions like Bank of Industry ought to also be investigated for similar allegations bordering on ethics and corporate governance.

  5. Leadership is about judgement and value. I think Mr Adesina did not demonstrate good judgement in allegation Number 6. Hiring his long time friend without recourse to bank normal hiring practices creates an impression of pay for play, However Mr Adesina should not be made to lose his office for that alone. Other than allegation number 6, I think his response are strong and verifiable.

    • Dear Udoka, but Trump the accuser hired all his children and in-laws as White house staffs and heavens are still opened!.
      Why can’t we stand by our own African brothers when he has clearly shown class always?

      • Trump is not the standard of good conduct, Secondly don’t forget many of Trump’s excesses have been challenged and still challenged in court by Americans and even american institutions…

        Lastly, based on the rules governing the bank and white house, I don’t think he nor Trump was guilty in number 6, We can only fault them based on our conscience.

      • That Trump hired all is children and in-laws does not make it right. Recruitment policy and standard operating procedures should be followed. The response to number 6 is not clear enough to justify that the Bank followed due diligence in recruiting Victor Oladokun. However, I don’t think Dr. Adesina should be forced to resign from the Bank on that ground. I completely agree with Udoka.

        • I do not agree with Udoka and you. What evidence do you have to state that the bank didn’t follow due diligence or recruitment process because the person is his friend.

          So, I can be your friend apply for a job in such organisation and because you know me, I shouldn’t be given the job or I can’t be friends with people within my professional boundaries for what reason exactly btw he doesn’t get involved in recruitment process.

          For someone of his status and intellect he can’t be friends with dullards but people who are intelligent and capable. Don’t let Trump tap into our brains. He can’t stand the other been good and outstanding. He wants people like him to be seen as good.

          Going by Trump’s claim, the greatest accuser of all time. That sees wrong in everybody but never in himself and never own up to his mistakes means one is also a shadow of Trump’s personality.

          Monitoring their investment is not wrong but raising baseless accusations, that’s not fair.

  6. Thanks Dr Adesina for your leadership by example principle. I commend his being truthful about appointing Victor Oladokun who was not a mediocre either. Victor was also not indicted in any way of official impropriety. If Victor performed his assignments as at when due, I think that is in order. The AfDB President should be entitled to a veto and if he used it to invite a friend who can deliver on the job and not his blood brother I hail him. Remember we’re Africans!
    I wish him a successful tenure in office.

  7. Apt and concise reply. In a world of dog eat dogs, we must protect our own at all cost. Outsider like US and Co should not be dictating to us how we run our institution, the allegations so far show he is not doing the bidding of the West.

    Sir, we believe strongly that you will come out of this situation with better image than before. Surely you will retain the seat for another term.

    We love and admire your sterling performance.

  8. I now see where the problem is. Some of Dr Adesina’s excuses while valid according to the bank’s ethics, are inexcusable by global best practices. Many times a leader becomes responsible for what his subordinates do

  9. Good one! Well done Dr Adesina for this precise responses. It goes further to reinforce your person. This shows, except if there is further prove, that some of the allegations are attribution from remote causes. This can happen in an organization in one or more of the following situations:
    1. Accusers are ill informed about the organizational structure & functionality of the company. It can happen in a big one with regional offices like AfDB.
    2. Long standing Tussles for position.
    3. Deliberate misdemeanor by the executive.
    Except, otherwise proven, the defence provided here and other stakeholders that have written rules out number 3 above.
    Once again, well done.

  10. Good and brilliant response indeed.
    We’ll keep watching and we want to believe they will not outsmart Dr Adesina in this their frivolous alegations.
    God bless you.
    “If God be for you nobody can be against you “

  11. Thoughtfully crafted by Dr. Adeshina. Let US cease from this crab’s mentality that wants to pull others down because of power by all means.
    I believe Dr Adeshina has proven track records, and can move the AfDB to the next level. ” Everything rises and falls on leadership “-Dr John C. Maxwell

Post Comment

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here