Alleged Sexual Harassment: Akpabio sues Ex-NDDC Boss, Nunieh for defamation

Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godwill Akpabio, has sued the former acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC), Joy Nunieh, for defamation of character.

Recall that the former NDDC boss had raised an allegations of sexual harassment against the former governor of Akwa-Ibom and also accused of Akpabio of corruption and financial embezzlement.

But in a statement signed on Thursday in Abuja by the Media Aide to the minister, Anietie Ekong, Akpabio described all the allegations against him as “cornucopia of false, malicious and libelous.”

Akpabio says he has instructed his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a court of competent jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Nunieh.

On her allegation that Akpabio directed her to change the Dollars in the NDDC’s Account, the statement declared that NDDC’s Account is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The statement read in parts: “The Honourable Minister’s initial attitude was to allow his lawyers and the judicial system vindicate him of the false allegations against him, but he is compelled to react to some of the wayward allegations levied against his person by Ms Nunieh, especially the one bothering on sexual harassment.

“To start with, let it be known that there is no scintilla of truth in all the allegations peddled around by Ms Nunieh. They are simply false! 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.

“For the records, the Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON is happily married and contented with his wife. Together they are blessed with children, four (4) of whom are young women. The Honourable Minister is an avid believer of the Affirmative Action and that was visible in the appointments he made as a two (2) term Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015. Under his watch, he appointed several women into various high-level positions.

“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 an appointment the first female Vice-Chancellor of the only Federal University in the State etc. He has always championed and still champions the cause of women and young children.

“Whilst the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, the Honourable Minister summoned the political will and effrontery to stop modern-day slavery in his state, where young women and children have ferried away from the State to other states in Nigeria to be used for all sorts of menial chores as housemaids and most suffered unimaginable unethical trade malpractices and maltreatments.

"He ensured that anyone caught in that trade was severely punished. He signed the Child Rights Law to protect children, especially the girl child from stigmatization and punishment by ordeal where some were executed or banished on allegation of witchcraft. The Child Rights Law also made primary and secondary education in Akwa Ibom State free and compulsory; educating the girl child was his topmost priority.

“The Honourable Minister has never hidden his admiration and respect for his wife, Mrs Ekaete Akpabio, Children and sisters, he therefore felt compelled to react to the malicious attack on his person by Ms Nunieh bothering on allegations of sexual harassment. The Honourable Minister, therefore, finds the said allegation nauseating and very cheap blackmail, for Ms Nunieh to suggest or insinuate that he sexually harassed her, while she was the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC.

“The Honourable Minister also finds it appalling that Ms Nunieh, never deemed it fit to report the alleged incident to the police at the earliest opportunity she had, before, during or after her tenure as the Acting Managing Director on 17th February 2020, 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.”

Post a Comment

0 Comments