A Nigerian-born Minister of Justice and Solicitor-General of Alberta, Kelechi ‘Kaycee’ Madu has been suspended after he called the police over his traffic offence ticket.
Madu, who was appointed minister in August 2020, was pulled over on March 10, 2021, and fined $300 for flouting the country’s traffic and safety regulations.
The Canadian-Nigerian, who is the first Black person to serve as a minister of justice in Canada, was booked by a traffic officer for using a phone while driving.
Madu said he was pulled over by an Edmonton police officer, who alleged he was driving while on his phone, but he disagreed with the offence, saying his phone was in his pocket.
He said, “The officer indicated that he had observed me driving while distracted, alleging that I was on my phone. I disagreed, stating that I was not on my phone, as it was in an inside pocket.
“Due to the timing of the incident, I wanted to ensure that I was not being unlawfully surveilled following the controversy surrounding the Lethbridge Police Service. I also raised concerns around profiling of racial minorities that was in the media at the time.
“Chief McFee assured me that that was most definitely not the case, and I accepted him at his word. To be abundantly clear, at no point did I request that the ticket be rescinded. I would never do that.
“However, in that particular call, I regret raising the issue at all with the Chief McFee. I paid the ticket fully and promptly. I have the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform, and for the invaluable, often thankless role they perform.”
Kelechi Kaycee Madu Suspended
Despite paying the ticket, the premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney announced on Tuesday via a tweet that he has asked Madu to step aside pending the outcome of a probe into the matter.
Kenney said he spoke with Madu and conveyed his “profound disappointment” over contacting the police chief after being issued the traffic ticket.
He said, “I have spoken with Minister Madu about the March 10 incident reported in the media today. I conveyed to him my profound disappointment in his decision to contact the Edmonton Police Chief after receiving a ticket for a traffic violation.
“Minister Madu told me that he did not ask to have the ticket rescinded, nor was it his intention to interfere in the case, and that he promptly paid the ticket.
“I understand that Chief McFee has confirmed that at no time did the Minister seek to have the ticket rescinded. Nevertheless, it’s essential the independent administration of justice is maintained.
“That’s why I will appoint a respected independent investigator to review the relevant facts and to determine whether there was interference in the administration of justice in this case.
“In the interim period, I have asked Minister Madu to step back from his ministerial duties.
“Minister Sonya Savage will act as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General during Minister Madu’s leave of absence. Details about the independent review will be made public in the near future.”
I have spoken with Minister Madu about the March 10 incident reported in the media today.
I conveyed to him my profound disappointment in his decision to contact the Edmonton Police Chief after receiving a ticket for a traffic violation.
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) January 18, 2022
KanyiDaily reported that on April 30, 2021, Kelechi Madu became the first Nigerian immigrant to be elected as a Member of Parliament in Alberta, Canada, as Minister for Municipal Affairs for the North American country.