EFCC arrests Permanent Secretary of Niger Delta Ministry over N5bn misappropriation


By Emmanuel Obisue

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Babayo Ardo has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for allegedly misappropriating N5billion.

According to reports, he was picked up late on Friday in Abuja and is facing interrogation.

Ardo was recently accused of contravening the civil service rules which prohibit serving civil servants from participating in political activities, after he declared his intention to run for the governorship election in Gombe State under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He had participated in the screening process without resigning his position in the ministry and could not secure the gubernatorial ticket after the primary.

A group, the Concerned PDP Vanguard had condemned this action in a petition signed by its leader, Sani Kabiru, to both the party and his employers, the Federal Government.

Kabiru reiterated that as a party, it would be counterproductive to allow people who would not respect the rules of political engagements to participate in its processes.

“It is in lieu of the above that we wish to bring Ardo’s conduct to the attention of the leadership of the PDP as well as the federal government where he is still employed.

“It is our informed opinion that the screening team ought not to have attended to him knowing fully well that he’s a serving permanent secretary who neither presented a letter of resignation nor termination of appointment,” the group had said.

Another group, Ethics and Corporate Compliance Institute of Nigeria, shortly before his participation in the screening exercise, petitioned the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorcha Ayu, over his disobedience of the civil service rule.