Minister of Women Affairs, House of Reps members clash over alleged misappropriation of funds

A heated argument ensued between the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and social development,on Tuesday, July 9, over alleged corruption in her ministry.

The committee had summoned the Minister and her team to appear before it and answer to questions bordering on the alleged diversion of N1.5 billion earmarked for the payment of contractors. Some contractors had petitioned the committee, alleging non-payment for contracts they had executed for the ministry.

The hearing which had hitherto began on a smooth note, snowballed into a shouting match, with committee members and the minister hurling accusations and counter accusations at each other.

“What was budgeted for 2023 from the accountant-general’s office, was it released to the account of the ministry of women affairs. Yes or no?” the Committee chairman, Kalifat Ogbara, had asked

Marie Ebikake, another member of the committee, then went on to suggest that the Minister was sidelining staff of the ministry in decision making.

“Fortunately, I attended the last meeting and one of the reasons why we took you on oath was to get the truth from you and today you have deviated. I take exception. I don’t like this allegation. I am no slave to anybody. She should withdraw that statement she said about me. It is not fairness here. It is a trap but I am not going to jump into it. I fear nothing… nothing!!”Kennedy-Ohanenye said

The Minister was also interrupted by the committee chairperson, who cautioned her against jumping in while an “honourable member” was speaking.

The back and forth continued for a while.

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