By Adedayo Akinwale
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has described allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by the former Acting Managing Director, Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ms. Joi Nunieh, as lies, saying he never made any form of sexual advances to her.
Nunieh, had in an interview with ARISE TV, the broadcast arm of THISDAY, accused the minister of corruption, sexual harassment, pipelines bombings, secret cult activities and abuse of office, among others.
But the minister, in a statement issued Wednesday by his media aide, Anietie Ekong, said Nunieh’s attacks are both personal and sponsored, adding that those afraid of the truth and who wish to bury it from seeing the light of the day, are strenuously behind Nunieh’s vicious campaign of calumny.
Akpabio stated: “They are simply false! The 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.”
Akpabio stressed that waiting till July 10th and 13th, 2020 when the National Assembly appears to be probing some of her actions as the former acting managing director of IMC exposes her motive, especially at a time when the momentum for the forensic audit of the NDDC was heating up and the truth is about to be unveiled for all to see.
The statement added: “The 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 tenor as the Acting Managing Director on 17th February, 2020, if indeed the allegation was true.
“The minister therefore felt compelled to react to the malicious attack on his person by Ms. Nunieh bordering on allegations of sexual harassment. The minister therefore finds the said allegation nauseating and a 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.”
Akpabio insisted that he is happily married and contented with his wife and his four children.