- Senator Godswill Akpabio has denied the sexual harassment allegations against him by Ms. Gbene Joi Nunieh
- The minister in a statement issued on Wednesday, July 15 by Anietie Ekong, his spokesman, said the allegations are false
- Ms Nunieh, a former NDDC MD, accused the minister of corruption, sexual harassment, among others
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The minister of Niger Delta affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has denied the sexual harassment allegations against him by Ms. Gbene Joi Nunieh, the erstwhile acting managing director of the Interim Management Committee, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC).
Ms Nunieh, a lawyer from Rivers state, in an interview she granted Arise TV recently accused the minister of corruption, sexual harassment, pipelines bombings, secret cult activities, abuse of office, among others.
The minister in a statement issued on Wednesday, July 15 by Anietie Ekong, his spokesman, said the allegations are false.
“They are simply false! The honourable minister did not at any time, place or circumstance make any form of sexual advances to Ms Nunieh.
“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,” part of the statement read.
The statement added that Akpabio is the first governor in Akwa Ibom state to have a female deputy governor, and was also the first to appoint female chief justices of the state high court.
Ekong further said Akpabio stopped modern-day slavery in his state, where young women and children were ferried away from the state to other places to be used as housemaids.
He said Akpabio finds the allegation as cheap blackmail and wondered why Nunieh never deemed it fit to report the alleged incident to the police.
The minister said Ms Nunieh's attacks are both personal and sponsored, saying those afraid of the truth are behind the ex-NDDC MD's vicious campaign of calumny against him.
Meanwhile, Akpabio has warned that those who looted funds meant for the NDDC will be forced to surrender their loots.
The former Akwa Ibom state governor said the era in which powerful and influential elements teamed up with staff at the NDDC to loot the intervention agency's allocation is over.
The minister said he wants to see a new NDDC with a good balance sheet “because for 19 years we lost everything to powerful forces who used the NDDC money to buy limousines for themselves and families leaving the poor people to continue in their squalor.”
He said the forensic audit initiated by his ministry will show who got what and who did what with the money they received.
In a related development, Donu Kogbara, former media adviser to Nunieh has advised her former principal to take the decision to relieve her of her duties in good fate.
Kogbara, a veteran journalist, gave the advice in a statement sent to journalists on Monday, July 13 while reacting to the recent controversy involving Nunieh and Akpabio.
She said that Nunieh’s claim that Akpabio attempted to force a corruption allegation against the chairman, Senate committee on NDDC, Peter Nwaoboshi, was baseless and untrue.
According to her, her former boss was a bad loser whose attitude left much to be desired.
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