Why I slapped Akpabio, ex-NDDC boss

*HURIWA asks Buhari to sack Malami, Akpabio

By Myke Uzendu and Daniel Tyokua

A Pandora box has been opened in the on-going of the affairs at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as the suspended Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, Ms. Joi Nunieh, accused the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswil Akpabio of sexual harassment.

Fielding questions from the interviewers on Arise Television News Monday morning, Ms. Nunieh also claimed that she once slapped the minister “for attempting to come on her”, but refused to provide the details, even as she challenged the minister to deny her claims.

When pressed further by Dr. Reuben Abati and other panelists on the programme, to explain how she would describe if she regarded such as ‘attempted rape’, she spoke in the affirmative.

President Muhammad Buhari had constituted an Interim Management Committee headed by Ms Nunieh to carry out forensic audit of the NDDC, but entrenched interests got her suspended, though she was retained as a member of the IMC.

Justifying why she slapped the minister, Nunieh claimed that Akpabio was always scheduling a meeting with her either at his guest house in Apo, Abuja or in undisclosed hotel.

She said when he (Akpabio) could not succeed in his attempts, the Minister then came up with the accusation of insubordination to suspend her from office.

She accused Akpabio of engaging in several corrupt activities to force her to bring out money to be shared to certain persons, or to award contract to some companies as “support” or on compassionate ground, adding that she simply ignored the several letters she claimed Akpabio wrote to her either directly or through his Special Assistants, because, “I did not see any need to respond to such letters”, adding those were the things Akpabio referred to as insubordination.

Nunieh said: “When Akpabio saw that I cannot bring out the money, he now tried Plan B, which he called a case of insubordination.

“Why did he not tell the President why I slapped him? Why did he not tell Nigerians that I slapped him? Why did he not tell Nigerians the ‘Plan B’ of insubordination?

“Why did he take me to guest house in Apo or to visit him in his private room in Le’Meridien? Why did he not tell Nigerians what this insubordination is all about?

“Why did I stop meeting him? He told the Senate committee that I refused to meet him to have meetings. Why didn’t we have our meetings in his office? I told Akpabio that I will not do any meeting outside his office.

“The last time he came to Port Harcourt, I did not go to Le’Meriden to meet him.

Asked by Tundun Abiola if she really did slap his (Akpabio) face, Nunieh said: “I am the only Ogoni woman; the only Nigerian woman to slap his face. I slapped him because of his ‘Plan B’.

“He thought since he couldn’t get me to release the money, he thought that through ‘Plan B’ if he could come on me, he didn’t know that I am a ‘Port Harcourt girl.”

Seeking further clarifications, Dr Reuben Abati asked: “Are you accusing Senator Akpabio of attempted rape or sexual harassment; is that what you are saying?

Nunieh responded: “Harassment sounds better, not rape. Yes, I am accusing him. Akpabio is most interested in my love life. Did he want to be my seventh husband?

“That’s why Akpabio told the world that I am temperamental. You know why Akpabio will tell the world that I may temperamental? Because of that incident, where I slapped him”.

She also made several allegations bothering on financial impropriety against Akpabio, insisting that she has documentary evidence, which she exhibited on television, to buttress her claims.

Meanwhile, it has been discovered that no less than 1,773 contractors were allegedly paid N70.495 billion by the NDDC as Mobilization Fee without mobilising to site between 2008 and 2012.

This was disclosed during investigations on the activities of NDDC by the House of Representatives at the weekend bothering on the N70.495 billion allegedly paid to contractors.

Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke, probing the audit queries from the Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF) underscored the need for the NDDC acting managing director, Professor Pondei Kemerbrandikumo, to provide details of the projects and list of all defaulting contractors.

Meanwhile, a human rights group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned widespread accusations of massive corruptions trailing the activities of high profile cabinet level ministers and heads of parastatsls under President Muhammadu Buhari, calling on the president to sack his Justice Minister Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio.

HURIWA in a statement, said Malami has not sufficiently debunked allegations that “his son had an extensive lawless social event thereby violating the Quarantine Act of 1926 which gave the President powers to impose restrictions on number of people to attend a social or religious gathering during this dangerous pandemic period.

“The only remedy for Mr. President not to sack the Chief Law Officer of Nigeria is for him (Malami, SAN) to provide forensic evidence that contradicts the newspaper reports and the avalanches of recorded videos trending on respectable Social media fora including Saharareporters. “Besides, at the wedding, there was a violation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s law prohibiting the defacing of Naira notes and other currencies and bans the spreading of Naira notes because there were abundance of evidence.

“We are calling on the EFCC to carry out proper investigation on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and demand for his immediate sack, except and unless Mr. President does not care about the people of the Niger Delta.

“Another worrisome reason is the sexual harassment allegation made against him by the immediate past MD of NDDC.

He needs to go so that he will not use his office to encumber police investigations.

“The IGP should invite Godswill Akpabio to give his own side of the story on the damaging sexual harassment claim made by a former officer who served under his supervision.”

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