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VIDEO: Reps, minister in heated argument over corruption allegations

Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye

For several minutes on Tuesday afternoon, guests and journalists watched as a house of representatives committee and Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, minister of women affairs, engaged in a heated debate. 

The house committee on women affairs and social development, chaired by Kafilat Ogbara, had summoned the minister over alleged corruption in her ministry. 

The committee is investigating 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.

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The hearing soon turned into a shouting match, with committee members and the minister hurling accusations and counter accusations.

“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 asked. 

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

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“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 she was interrupted by the minister.

“I take exception. I don’t like this allegation. I am no slave to anybody,” Kennedy-Ohanenye said.

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

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The back and forth continued for a while.

The committee adjourned hearing indefinitely after the argument.

Watch the video below.

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