The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, on Friday threatened to take legal action against the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ms. Joi, Nunieh, for alleged character defamation.
The minister, who disclosed this in a statement titled: “Akpabio to sue Joy Nunieh for defamation, denies ‘false allegations,” and signed by his Special Assistant, Anietie Ekong, said he had already instructed his lawyers to seek legal redress on the matter.
Since the National Assembly launched a probe into the activities of the NDDC, there had been accusations and counter-accusations between Ms. Nunieh and Akpabio.
Nunieh claimed that the minister asked her to change the dollars in the commission’s account and sack the head of the legal team among other allegations.
The ex-NDDC chief also accused the minister of sexual harassment, budget padding and awarding of 30 contracts in the commission.
But the ex-Akwa Ibom governor had described Ms. Nunieh’s allegations as tissues of lies, adding that at no time did he make advances towards her.
The statement read: “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 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-term Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015.”
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