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BREAKING NEWS: Drama as Reps, Minister of Women Affairs clash over N20 million for sanitary pads, others

A video showing the moment the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye and a House of Representatives committee in a heated debate over an alleged corruption in her ministry have surfaced on social media...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶ (TNG) reports that the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, chaired by Kafilat Ogbara, is investigating the alleged diversion of N1.5 billion earmarked for the payment of contractors, including N45 million for a new year party, N20 million for sanitary pads, and N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

This comes after some displeased contractors petitioned the committee, alleging non-payment for contracts they had executed for the ministry, which led to the invitation of the minister of Women Affairs, Kennedy-Ohanenye.

The hearing soon turned into choas, as committee members and the minister hurling accusations and counteraccusations.

Ogbara asked, “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 member of the committee, accused the minister of sidelining staff of the ministry.

Ebikake said before she was interrupted by the minister, “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.”

Kennedy-Ohanenye said, “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 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.

The committee which also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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