Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy, Clashes with House Reps Committee over Alleged Corruption

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A heated exchange took place between 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 accusations of corruption within her ministry.

The committee summoned the Minister and her team to address allegations of diverting N1.5 billion intended for contractor payments. Contractors had filed petitions claiming non-payment for completed projects.

Initially, the hearing proceeded smoothly but quickly escalated into a confrontation, with committee members and the minister exchanging accusations.

Committee Chairman Kalifat Ogbara pressed the Minister with a pointed question: “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?”

Marie Ebikake, another committee member, accused the Minister of sidelining ministry staff in decision-making processes. This led to a strong rebuttal from Kennedy-Ohanenye. “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!” she retorted.

The chairperson intervened, cautioning the Minister against interrupting while an “honourable member” was speaking, adding to the tension.

The argument continued, highlighting deep-seated issues and mistrust between the Minister and the committee.


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