The former head of Gabon’s cabinet Brice Laccruche Alihanga was arrested on Tuesday as ailing president Ali Bongo pushed on with his anti-corruption drive.
Several former government officials have been detained by anti-corruption investigators in recent days. They include Tony Ondo Mba, and Noël Mboumba – former Ministers of Energy, Petroleum respectively.
In Gabon, the director of cabinet is a powerful bureaucrat and politician. He oversees ministerial appointments and supervision.
Gabon’s public prosecutor said the men are being held for embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, misappropriation and money laundering.
Critics have said arrests are part of a plot to purge Bongo’s rivals disguised as a campaign against corruption.
Alihanga is said to have played a key role to ensure political stability in the central African country, as Bongo spent months abroad recovering from a stroke that nearly took his life.
Prosecution said he was taken before a probe to record a statement.