Nigeria’s political space is littered with leaders known for their corrupt practices. Interestingly, women clamouring for increased political participation have been beaten by the cankerworm called corruption. This comes as some women who have been given the privilege to serve in different political capacities couldn’t resist the destroyer.
While women like Ngozi Okonjo Iweala continue to shine their bright light on the international scene, some women threw their beautiful, brilliance and bravery away by getting muddled in the sinking sea of corruption. In this piece, we will highlight some notable women whose political careers were truncated by varying degrees of corrupt practices. Shall we?
Alison-Madueke is a familiar name to the antigraft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Nigerian female politician first served as Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation in 2007. She went on to serve as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development in 2008. Alison-Madueke was appointed as the first woman Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria. She was also elected as the first female president of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on 27 November 2014. Despite her groundbreaking records, Alison-Madueke has been arrested and dragged by several courts for corruption and financial misconduct.
The former petroleum minister has been officially charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria for Money laundering. She’s been accused of organizing a diversion of $28 billion from the Nigerian treasury, awarding multi-billion Naira contracts without recourse to due process, and wasting billions of naira inappropriately on private jets. Another notable incident is the several items, documents and pieces of jewellery recovered from her house in Nigeria, the UK, the US, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.
Stella Oduah Ogiemwonyi
Oduah served as a one-time Minister of Aviation in Nigeria in 2011. She was also elected to represent Anambra North Senatorial District in 2015. Oduah couldn’t complete her term in office following a scandal over N255 million armoured cars. Newsmen report that she made the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), an agency under her supervision as Minister of Aviation, purchase the cars at inflated prices.
The former minister whose educational background is allegedly not verifiable was also indicted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on February 9, 2014. She was named with the Nigerian Subsidiary of Chinese Construction Giant, CCECC, in an alleged fraudulent cash transaction of about N5 billion.
Etteh is the first female to serve as the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives. She occupied that position for a period of four months(June-October, 2007). Her tenure was short-lived when she was accused of authorising $5 million for renovations of her official residence and that of her deputy. The fund was also used to purchase official cars meant for the House of Representatives. Etteh resigned from her position after several weeks of pressure from the members of parliament. She has also been interrogated by the EFCC for allegedly receiving a suspicious N130 million payment from a contractor the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded a solar-powered electrification project in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria’s South-South.
Sarah Reng Ochekpe
Known as a Nigerian politician woman from Plateau State. Ochekpe served as a minister of Water resources from 2011 and 2015. Before her ministerial appointment, Ochekpe served in different directorial roles at National Orientation Agency. She creditably increased the level of water accessibility for Nigerians and introduced artificial waterways that reduced flooding and alleviated unemployment. However, the Plateau diadem was convicted by a Federal high court sitting in Jos for her involvement in money laundering. The laundering involving N450 million was allegedly traced to funds fraudulently distributed by an ex-petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in 2015.
Kemi Adeosun was appointed as the Minister of Finance in 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari. She also served as the Chairman of Afreximbank. However, during her third year in office, it was alleged that Kemi illegally obtained her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to get into public office. On July 2018, the Nigerian online newspaper Premium Times published a report that made the revered accountant a subject of public discourse. Following the publication, the Nigerian government conducted an internal probe which later proved that the allegations were true. Kemi who later resigned from her position admitted that the document was forged. Reports say Kemi had used the forged document to secure jobs at private professional services firms and also served as finance commissioner in her home Ogun State.