The embattled Minister for Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has recently been under the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for his alleged link in a N438 million scandal with the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
Tunji-Ojo has, however, refuted claims suggesting his involvement as a signatory in the company implicated in the N438 million contract allegations linked to the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu.
A leaked memo circulating online indicated that a company, allegedly owned by Tunji-Ojo, received N438 million designated as ‘consultancy fees’ from Edu.
Reacting to the allegation in an interview on Channels TV on Monday, Tunji-Ojo said, “I am not a signatory to the company.
“And actually, I was shocked because the company in question was a company where I was a director. About five years ago, I had resigned from my directorship.”
He was appointed as the new Minister of Interior by President Bola Tinubu in 2023 along with about 41 other ministers.
Until his appointment, Tunji-Ojo represented Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State in the House.
So far, Tunji-Ojo has been termed the ‘starboy’ of the Tinubu-led administration, following various achievements his office had made within six months of appointment. Some of which include: clearing a heavy backlog of passports and implementing a new platform that would allow a renewing of one’s passport from the convenience of one’s home, amongst others.
This recent alleged affiliation with the N438 million scandal has in a way tainted his good record of performance that even won him some awards in 2023.
However, little did Nigerians know that Tunji-Ojo was the infamous former chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Niger Delta Development Commission that clashed with the then Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, over allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds in the commission.
During the televised probe, Akpabio had accused Tunji-Ojo and other members of the National Assembly of benefiting from contracts awarded by the NDDC, a claim that Tunji-Ojo denied and challenged Akpabio to provide evidence.
The probe also witnessed a dramatic scene when Akpabio was asked to “off his mic” by Tunji-Ojo after he refused to answer questions from the committee.
Tunji-Ojo later stepped down as the chairman of the committee, citing the need to protect his integrity and that of the House.
On Tuesday, the minister was summoned by the president, a move perceived by many to be an internal probe to ensure his claims of innocence are true.
As the Minister of Interior, Tunji-Ojo oversees the affairs of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Prisons Service, and the Federal Fire Service.
He is also responsible for ensuring the security and welfare of Nigerians, as well as promoting the harmonious coexistence of the diverse ethnic and religious groups in the country.
Tunji-Ojo, who is a lawyer and a businessman, was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2015. He is also the chairman of the House Committee on NEDC/North East Development Commission.
He is married to Mrs. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, and they have three children.