Nigerian-born minister of justice and solicitor-general of Alberta, a province in Western Canada, has been asked to step aside from his ministerial position after he called the police over a traffic offence ticket served him.
Solicitor General Kelechi “Kaycee” Madu was asked by the Premier Jason Kenney to step back from ministerial duties following reports he called Edmonton’s police chief after receiving a distracted driving ticket.
Madu had been pulled over in March 2021 and fined $300 for using his cell phone while driving in a school zone. Soon after, he called Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee to ‘discuss’ the ticket which he then paid two days later.
In a statement issued to the media, Madu said on the morning of March 10, he was pulled over by an Edmonton police officer, who alleged he was driving while on his phone. Madu said he disagreed, and that his phone was in his pocket.
Madu later spoke to McFee. “Due to the timing of the incident, I wanted to ensure that I was not being unlawfully surveyed following the controversy surrounding the Lethbridge Police Service,” he said.
“I also raised concerns around profiling of racial minorities that was in the media at the time.”
Madu said McFee assured him that was not the case.
“To be abundantly clear, at no point did I request that the ticket be rescinded.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,” Madu said, adding he paid the ticket in full.
In a series of tweets late Monday, Kenney said he spoke to Madu about the incident, and said it is “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,” Kenney said.
Energy Minister, Sonya Savage will act as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.