A serving Federal Government official and academic, Professor Lucy Jumeyi Ogbadu, has been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged diversion of public funds put at N23 million.
The commission’s media and publicity unit made this disclosure in a press statement it issued on Thursday.
Mrs Ogbadu is the Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
The EFCC, which said that Prof. Ogbadu was arrested on Wednesday in Port Harcout, Rivers State, accused her of involvement in “criminal conspiracy and diversion of public funds.”
She was accused of having links “with the Bayelsa State Director of Bioresources Development Centre, Mr. Josiah Habu who is being investigated by the EFCC in a case of fraudulent diversion of the sum of N75,0000,000.00.”
The statement read further: “Investigations by the EFCC showed that Ogbadu allegedly received the sum of N23m through a bank account belonging to the wife of Habu, Mrs. Esther Habu and admitted same in a voluntary statement made to the EFCC.
“Further investigations have also shown that, Mrs. Habu is one of the contractors with Bioresources Development Centre, Odi, Bayelsa State and a total sum of N603,000,000.00 ( Six Hundred and Three Million Naira only) has been traced to her, in different deals involving over 20 Directors of Bioresources Development Centers across the country.
“Ogbadu’s linkage with all these scams is being investigated. She has been duly served with bail conditions while investigations continue.”
A microbiologist, Ogbadu assumed duty as the NABDA helms-person in November 2013.
In 2002, she was appointed Director of Research and Development at the agency and later served as the Director of Bioentrepreneurship from 2004 to 2005.
Ogbadu also served in an acting capacity as the Director General/CEO of NABDA for three months in 2005, and afterwards became head of the department of Food and Industrial Biotechnology at the NABDA from 2005 to 2011. She also served as director of research from 2011 until 2013, when she was appointed to her current position.