NDDC: Akpabio under fire over corruption allegations
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has come under fire over his reaction to allegations of corruption made against him by Ms. Joy Nunieh, a former Acting Managing Director of Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Nunieh in some damning revelations about the minister alleged that Akpabio had threatened her to ‘play ball’ or be shown the way out.
“Nobody makes any payment in NDDC without Godswill Akpabio’s approval. When we first came, on the day of the inauguration, he said to me in the car, ‘Madam MD, if you don’t do what I say, the same pen with which I used to sign your paper is the same pen I’ll use to remove you,” Nunieh alleged.
“He said the first thing I should do when I get to Port Harcourt is to change the dollars in the NDDC account. I was scared to do that and he claimed that I have a poverty mentality that I’m afraid of money. All of you knew that he accused me of refusing to spend money. It is strange today, it’s about money.
But reacting in an interview on ARISE TV, Akpabio accused the former NDDC MD of character problem.
According to him, “I don’t want to discuss her because that’s not the job of a Minister.
“The last MD you mentioned, Joy Nunieh, I wish she can go to hospital, see a doctor take some injections and relax.
“I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with her, but I’m saying there’s something wrong with her temperament. Remember she had about four other husbands that she married.
“You also need to bring all the other former husbands to the studio so that you ask them questions one after the other because it looks like character.
“They will have answers to her problem. Not a professional conduct, is she a professional?
“They will tell you about her characters because what I’m seeing here…if somebody comes up and say something on television channel…then the whole world…Nigerians love bad news and my job is to protect the citizens of the country and the administration of Mr. President.
“I must tell you that even Mr. President, President Buhari was not aware of all these things because I did not want to bother because he will be shocked.”
However, the minister’s comments have generated throwbacks, with some calling for his resignation and others want President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the corruption claims.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, said, “We urge President Buhari to ensure a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the grave allegations of corruption against the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Akpabio by ex-MD, NDDC, Joy Nunieh.”
Also, the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition, NDRC, accused the minister of trying to water down the allegations.
National Coordinator of NDRC, Alalibo George, said, “Indeed, it has become a regular feature that since the Senate and the House of Representatives decided to take up their constitutional oversight duties by setting up committees to probe the reports of fraudulent contracts and payments estimated at N40 billion, perpetrated by Akpabio in the last few months, fictitious groups, individuals and public relations butterflies have flooded the public space in a desperate bid by the minister to blackmail the National Assembly and stifle the probe.”
An Abuja based lawyer, Ozi B. Ozi, described the attack on Nunieh’s person as low, stating that it was obvious the minister lacked any plausible defence, and called for his suspension by Buhari.
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