The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday dismissed the allegation of sexual harassment levelled against him by a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nunieh, as a litany of lies.
Nunieh had said at the weekend she slapped the ex-Akwa Ibom State governor for allegedly sexually assaulting her.
The former NDDC chief told journalists she slapped Akpabio at his guest house in Abuja.
She alleged that the minister repeatedly pressured her to take “an oath of secrecy” meant to stop her from exposing fraud at the commission.
Nunieh said: “Why did he not tell Nigerians that I slapped him in his guest house at Apo? I am the only Ogoni woman, the only Nigerian woman that had slapped him.
“I slapped him because of his plan B. Since he couldn’t get me to take that money, he thought that he could come up on me.
“He didn’t know that I’m a Port Harcourt girl. Port Harcourt girls are not moved by money. Yes, I am accusing him of sexual harassment.”
However, in a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media, Anietie Ekong, the minister said there was no scintilla of truth in all the allegations being peddled around by the ex-NDDC chief.
The statement read:
“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, is happily married and contented with his wife. Together they are blessed with children, four of whom are young women. The minister is an avid believer of the 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 was 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 High Court.
“He 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.
“He has always championed and still champions the cause of women and young children.”
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