Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has denied allegation of sexual harassment against him by Mrs. Joy Nunieh, a former Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
He described the allegations as corruption fighting back from those resisting “the wind of change.”
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, the Minister was asked to respond to Dr. Nunieh’s sexual harassment allegation.
Akpabio said, “As a minister of the Federal Republic, I can’t talk about individuals.
“I’m more concerned about what this administration can deliver to Nigerians and how to make sure NDDC delivers its mandate to the region.
“All the rumbles you are hearing are because of the change that is coming; for the first time, the people will have a say on how their funds are used.
“Change is coming and they should be prepared for it. N18 billion was inserted into the NDDC budget for schools, yet, they have no school to run.
“Since I became a minister, I have only given out two contracts. The first, was for the forensic audit of NDDC and the other for COVID-19 intervention to states in the region.
“NDDC is assisting states to set up two testing centres. We also assisted the governors financially to set up isolation centres.
“The story of the Niger Delta will change. The forensic audit will throw up who has money to refund, who still has job to do.
“And even now, over 70 contractors have gone back to work. All the participating forensic audit firms are registered with the Auditor General of the Federation.
“With a mere mention of forensic audit, over 70 roads have been completed in the Niger Delta. The forensic audit is meant to block leakages in the system.
“On the first day of the forensic audit, 8,000 documents were given to them. Some who collected money in 2004, 2006, are now coming back to do the work.”
Akpabio said the issue of corruption was high in the Ministry before he came on board, adding that someone collected billions to supply fingerlings but when he assumed office, the unnamed individual came to him and said the fingerlings are now ready and “I just laughed and asked him to return the money to NDDC.”
Nunieh had during the week said that she is the first and only woman to have slapped Senator Akpabio.
Mrs. Nunieh said this when she appeared on Arise TV on Monday to addressed the allegations raised against her by Akpabio.
“I am the only woman in Nigeria to have slapped Akpabio,” said, detailing the incident when Akpabio allegedly wanted to take advantage of her.
“He [Akpabio] wanted me to take a blood oath of secrecy in Abuja.
“My meetings with Akpabio were either in Apo or Meridian, those are his meeting points…so I slapped him… I am accusing Akpabio of sexual harassment.”
Recall that Akpabio, while reacting to a previous allegations against him by Nunieh, said the former NDDC MD has character problem.