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Nunieh’s allegations, false, malicious, act of insubordination, say Akpabio, ministry

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Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has refuted allegations by former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Gbene Joi Nunieh, describing her claims as false, malicious and libelous.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Anietie Ekong, the minister said the interviews Nunieh recently granted and published in some media outfits were campaigns of calumny against his person.

Nunieh had accused Akpabio of corruption, sexual and workplace harassments, pipeline bombings, secret cult activities and abuse of office, among others, which Akpabio said were all concocted.

He said Nunieh’s attacks were both personal and sponsored, adding that those afraid of the truth, and who wish to cover up their tracks, were behind her vicious campaign of calumny.

The statement also disclosed that Akpabio has taken steps to instruct his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a Court of competent Jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Nunieh.

While encouraging Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable, Akpabio urged them to sift chaff from substance before making allegations or giving their opinions and views.

Akpabio said he was committed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to unearth alleged looting and financial misappropriation that had gone on at the NDDC since its inception in 2001 through the forensic audit and will not be deterred or distracted from that goal.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs stated that Nunieh’s refusal to follow Akpabio to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was not due to lack of budget, but an act of insubordination and refusal to accept directives.

In a statement issued in Abuja by its Director of Press, Deworitshe Patricia, it stated, “On the contrary, Nunieh is aware that a component part of the NDDC Budget comes from the annual national appropriation, as a single line vote.

She stated that the 2020 Appropriation Act, which President Buhari signed into law on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 and which became effective on January 1, 2020, provided N80.88b for the commission.

“Earlier in October, 2019, the President had approved the funding of the Forensic Audit exercise by N2.5b to be sourced from NDDC’s budget,” she added, insisted that Nunieh’s claims against Akpabio were “tissue of lies.”


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