The Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has reacted to the allegations of sexual harassment against him by Joy Nunieh, the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
KanyiDaily recalls that Mrs Nunieh had accused Akpabio of sexually harassing her, adding that she slapped him for his action to prove her intolerance for “nonsense”.
However, in a statement on Wednesday by Anietie Ekong, his media aide, Akpabio said he has never made sexual advances against Mrs Nunieh because he is happily married and contended with his wife.
“The honourable minister did not at any time, place or circumstance make any form of sexual advances to Ms. Nunieh, not even to put himself in a position or posture suggestive of sexual advances towards Ms. Nunieh, or any female staff of his ministry or the NDDC,” the former senator said.
“For the records, the Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON is happily married and content with his wife.
“Together they are blessed with children, four of whom are young women. The honourable minister is an avid believer of 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.
“Under his watch, he appointed several women into various high level positions as Chairpersons of Local Government Councils, Magistrates, Judges, Heads of Parastatals, Directors, Permanent Secretaries, and Commissioners.
“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.”
The minister wondered why Nunieh did not speak out until the period the senate is probing the NDDC.
“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,” he said.
“Investigation of the NDDC is heating up and the truth is about to be unveiled for all to see? The critical question is who is afraid of the Forensic Audit at the NDDC? Who is Afraid of the Truth?
“There is no doubt that Ms. Nunieh’s attacks are both personal and sponsored.”
The minister added that he has instructed his lawyers to seek necessary “redress in a court of competent jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Ms. Nunieh.”
Mr Nunieh had been engaged in a war of words with Akpabio in the last few days with accusations and counter accusations on what transpired during her brief tenure at the commission.
KanyiDaily recalls that Mrs Nunieh had recounted her ordeal at the hands of Akpabio before she was removed as the NDDC MD. She accused the Minister of serial corrupt practices and fraud.
Mrs Nunieh alleged that during her brief tenure at the commission, Mr Akpabio repeatedly pressured her to take “an oath of secrecy” that was meant to keep her from exposing fraud at the commission.
However, reacting to the allegations, Akpabio advised Mrs Nunieh “to go to the hospital; see a doctor; get some injection and relax.”
Akpabio said Mrs Nunieh has character problem, adding that the four husbands whom she had alllegedly divorced, can attest to her temperament.