Insists on Forensic Audit of NDDC operation
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswil Akpabio, has dismissed the allegation of corruption, sexual and workplace harassment, pipelines bombings, secret cult activities, abuse of office, leveled against him by the ousted Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Ms Joi Nunieh, labeling them false and lies.
Ms Joi Nunieh in a recent interview in Arise TV Breakfast show accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswil Akpabio of serial corruption, sexual harassment, among other allegation.
Reacting to the allegations in a release signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Anietie Ekong, Senator Akpabio noted that he did not at any time, place or circumstance make any form of sexual advances at Ms. Nunieh.
The statement insisted that the interview granted by Ms. GBENE JOI NUNIEH, was “false, malicious, and libelous”, noting that the ousted Acting IMC chairman of NDDC has taken her blackmail too far.
On the allegation of sexual harassment, the minister noted that he is happily married and contented with his wife.
Akpabio explained that he “is an avid believer of the Affirmative Action and that was visible in the appointments he made as a two term Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015″.
“He is the first Governor in Akwa Ibom State to have a female Deputy Governor, was also the first to appoint female Chief Justices of the High Court, recommended women for ministerial appointments one of whom was the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, and supported for appointment the first female Vice Chancellor of the only Federal University in the State etc. He has always championed and still champions the cause of women and young children,” the statement said.
The former Senate Minority Leader stressed that he also signed the Child Rights Law to protect children especially the girl child, while serving as a governor in Akwa Ibom State from stigmatization and punishment by ordeal where some were executed or banished on allegation of witchcraft. The Child Rights Law also made primary and secondary education in Akwa Ibom State free and compulsory; educating the girl child was his topmost priority.”
He noted that he has never hidden his admiration and respect for his wife, Mrs. Ekaete Unoma Akpabio, Children and sisters and therefore felt compelled to react to the malicious attack on his person by the former NDDC Acting MD, bothering on allegations of sexual harassment and described the allegation as a cheap blackmail coming from a wounded lion. who is afraid of Forensic Audit.
“The Honourable Minister also finds it appalling that, Ms. Nunieh, never deemed it fit to report the alleged incident to the police at the earliest opportunity she had, before, during or after her tenure as the Acting Managing Director on 17th February, 2020, if indeed the allegation was true. Waiting till July 10th and 13th 2020 when the National Assembly appears to be probing some of her actions as the Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (“IMC”) exposes her motive, especially at a time when the momentum for the Forensic Audit.
The Niger Delta Minister also posited that the investigation of the NDDC is heating up and the truth is about to be unveiled for all to see.
“There is no doubt that Ms. Nunieh’s attacks are both personal and sponsored. Those afraid of the truth, and who wish to bury it from seeing the light of the day, are strenuously behind Ms. Nunieh’s vicious campaign of calumny.
On the allegations of his involvement in contract racketeering, bombing of oil pipelines, corruption/diversion of funds, the Minister has re-stated he has only awarded three contracts till date- the appointment of the lead forensic auditors which was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC); the emergency procurement contract for COVID-19 intervention in the Niger Delta Area which due to its urgency had his interim approval and Presidential approval in line with the Bureau of Public Procurement Act and the award of Vehicles procurement duly approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement and the Federal Executive Council but yet to be consummated. It is noteworthy, that all these contracts went through due processes.
About the allegation of asking the former Acting MD to change the commission’s dollar to naira, the Minister shaded light saying that NDDC’s Account is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria where every inflow and outflow is known and traceable.
He added that the NDDC gets its revenue in Dollars which is paid directly to its Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
While denying the allegation that he asked the former acting MD to sack or remove Mr. Kaltungo, the minister who describe the allegation as another lie added his track record marks him out as a totally detribalized politician and one of the best friends of Northern Nigeria.
Putting the record straight, the Minister said he was informed by the NDDC management that over twenty three (23) top Management Staff, from various part of Nigeria including the Niger Delta region have evaded leave in the last ten (10) years or had the tendency to influence negatively the ongoing forensic audit were recommended for mandatory leave by the lead forensic auditors.
He noted that the said staff are still in the Commission and currently receiving their monthly salaries and other benefits.
Akpabio also threatened to instruct his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a Court of competent Jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Ms. Nunieh as he charged people to seek information from reliable source to be able to sift the chaff from facts.