Babayo Ardo, a serving Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly misappropriating N5 billion.
The anti-graft agency arrested him on Thursday in Abuja and had begun interrogation, according to reports.
Recall that a few weeks ago, Ardo was accused of contravening the civil service rules which prohibit serving civil servants from participating in political activities.
Ardo had declared his intention to run for the governorship election in Gombe State on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, and he participated in the screening process as well without resigning.
This is despite a circular from the Head of Service of the Federation wherein it was reiterated that the position of the law which prohibits civil servants from participating in nominations exercises or party primaries, an order that he clearly flouted.
He could not secure the PDP Bauchi gubernatorial ticket after the primary.
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.
Shortly before his participation in the screening exercise, another group, Ethics and Corporate Compliance Institute of Nigeria (ECCIN) petitioned the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorcha Ayu, over his disobedience of the civil service rule.
The group claimed that the party might be disqualified from participating in the governorship poll as it might not be able to field any candidate if Babayo emerged as the flag bearer because his candidacy violated the public service rules.
Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesperson did not respond to THE WITNESS inquiries as at press time.