A newly appointed Gabonese minister has been forced to resign over an ongoing corruption probe three days after taking office.
Irene Patricia Boussamba, a cousin of President Ali Bongo was named the Minister of State in Charge of the Budget and Public Accounts in a recent ministerial reshuffle.
In this case, known as Operation Mamba, she was under judicial proceedings, at a point questioned, held in police custody, and subsequently released on bail, according to several sources.
The prosecutor in the capital, Libreville, lifted the lid on the ongoing corruption probe against her following which she was said to have resigned. At the time of the alleged case, she was a private secretary to the then Minister in Charge of Infrastructure, Public Works and National Planning.
“She resigned for reasons of personal convenience. The Prime Minister received her and told her about the constraints on her situation as a defendant, even if she has the presumption of innocence,” a government source said.
In the said case, she is accused of having embezzled about 500 billion CFA in shady deals involving an Italian businessman, Guido Santullo. Her former boss is currently in detention with relation to the said scandal.