News24

Chad: Mayor, aide held for fraud

2010-01-12 10:06

N'Djamena - Police on Monday arrested and detained the mayor of Chad's capital N'Djamena and one of his aides on suspicion of embezzlement, police and municipal officials said.

The case against Mayor Mahamat Zene Bada and second deputy Annour Djibrine hinges on a complaint lodged on Thursday by the ministry in charge of auditing government departments, a police source said on condition of anonymity.

An official at city hall confirmed the arrests, adding that about a dozen municipal officials had been arrested during inspections carried out by the ministry since October.

Suspicion centres on alleged bogus expense claims, made through non-existent businesses, worth around $6.7m, the official said.

Monday's arrests came a few hours after the start of an extraordinary National Assembly session to decide whether to pursue legal action against three government ministers and a lawmaker named in a corruption scandal involving the purchase of schoolbooks that came to light in October.

The session was convened at Prime Minister Youssouf Saleh Abbas's request.

Same reasons  

Prosecutors submitted a report to National Assembly members on Monday identifying six serving members of the government in relation to the school books case, a judicial official said on condition of anonymity.

They include Finance Minister Gata Ngoulou, Education Minister Abderamane Koko and Public Health Minister Ngombaye Djabe, the source said.

The report also names two secretaries of state, Oumar Boukar Gana and Khadidja Hassaballah, both with budget responsibilities, plus the minister for relations with the National Assembly, Limane Mahamat, the source added.

Prosecutors are asking for the six to be tried "for the same reasons" that led to the indictment and jailing of Haroune Kabadi, who was chief of staff in the president's office, and a presidential adviser, the source said.

Last November, the Cabinet gave its consent for a decree authorising judicial officials to hear testimony from six members of the government in connection with the affair, but only as witnesses.