Drama as lawmakers, minister exchange words in alleged corruption probe

Drama as lawmakers, minister exchange words in alleged corruption probe
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Minister for Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye [Punch]

The session quickly escalated into a tense shouting match, with both sides vehemently hurling accusations at each other.

A dramatic scene unfolded as journalists observed a heated clash between the House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development and Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, the Minister of Women Affairs.

The committee, led by Kafilat Ogbara, had called the minister to respond to corruption allegations, particularly regarding the supposed diversion of N1.5 billion intended for contractor payments.

Contractors, who had completed their work, were left in a dire situation, approaching the committee with complaints of unpaid dues.

The session quickly escalated into a tense shouting match, with both sides vehemently hurling 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?” Ogbara probed the minister.

Similarly, Marie Ebikake, another committee member, accused the minister of excluding ministry staff.

“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…” Ebikake said before being interrupted by Kennedy-Ohanenye.

Angered by the probing question of the committee, the minister responded heatedly, “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!!”

Ogbara, the committee chairperson, stepped in to warn the minister about interrupting a member of parliament. Efforts to restore order were unsuccessful as the heated exchange persisted for several minutes.

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