By Emmanuel Nduka
Babayo Ardo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, who was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday for using his office to perpetuate fraud, will be spending the weekend in custody after the anti-graft agency discovered a larger scale fraud.
Ardo who was initially taken for questioning for misappropriating N5 billion, is now being accused by the EFCC of misappropriating N85 billion.
New details indicated that part of the money he stole was meant for palliatives during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Upon further investigation and interrogation over the weekend, the EFCC discovered that the perm sec committed the larger scale fraud using a company he set up with his wife while offering only one percent to owners of the accounts through which he used to loot the money.
There could be more drama in the coming week as the commission is gearing up to bring in his wife for further questioning.
Aside facing questioning for committing fraud, Ardo is also being accused of contravening the civil service rule which prohibits serving civil servants from participating in political activities.
He had declared his intentions to run for the Office of Governor in Gombe State under the platform of People Democratic Party, PDP without first resigning his appointment.
He went ahead to participate in the screening process as well. His governoship ambition was however cut short at the primaries.