Our reporter

Embattled Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has described the allegations made against him by the former acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) Ms. Gbene Joy Nuniel as false.

Akpabio who spoke through his media aide Aniete Ekong said he was to allow his lawyers and the judicial system vindicate him of the false allegations against him but was compelled to react to some of the allegations 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 Nunieh. They are simply false! The Honourable Minister did not at any time, place or circumstance make any form of sexual advances to Nunieh, not even to put himself in a position or posture suggestive of sexual advances towards Nunieh, or any female staff of his Ministry or the NDDC’’, Akpabio said.

He stated that he is happily married and contended with his wife, adding that he 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, which he said reflected in his appointment where several women were appointed into various high level positions as chairpersons of Local Government Councils, Magistrates, Judges, Heads of Parastatals, Directors, Permanent Secretaries, and Commissioners.

‘’Investigation of the NDDC is heating up and the truth is about to be unveiled for all to see? The critical question is who is afraid of the Forensic Audit at the NDDC? Who is Afraid of the Truth?

‘’There is no doubt that Ms. Nunieh’s attacks are both personal and sponsored. Those afraid of the truth, and who wish to bury it from seeing the light of the day, are strenuously behind Ms. Nunieh’s vicious campaign of calumny.

‘’The Honourable Minister has a mandate from Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari, to unearth alleged looting and financial misappropriation that had gone on at the NDDC since its inception in 2001. He is committed to that mandate through the forensic audit of the NDDC and will not be deterred or distracted from that goal. The aim of this campaign of calumny is simply to get Senator Akpabio out, kill the forensic audit, and continue business as usual at the NDDC’’, the minister added.

He also denied allegations on contracts, saying- ‘’The appointment of the lead forensic auditors which was approved by the Federal Executive Council the emergency procurement contract for COVID-19 intervention in the Niger Delta Area which due to its urgency had my interim and Presidential approval in line with the Bureau of Public Procurement Act and the award of Vehicles procurement was duly approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement and the Federal Executive Council but yet to be consummated.

‘’It is noteworthy that all these contracts went through due processes’’.

‘’For the records, it should be noted that NDDC’s Account is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria. Every inflow and outflow is known and traceable. NDDC gets its revenue in Dollars, which is paid directly to its Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

‘’The Dollar is then converted to Naira by the CBN and paid into the NDDC Naira Account still domiciled with the CBN upon a written application from the NDDC. It is therefore impossible for any sum of money belonging to the NDDC with the CBN including the several figures bandied around as missing to be missing’.

‘’It is important to state, that unlike in the past where the NDDC had over three hundred (300) bank accounts in different commercial banks, that practice had since changed under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which gave full effect to the application of the Treasury Single Account and the NDDC now has its accounts with the CBN. The Honourable Minister does not give verbal instructions to anybody, all instructions are in writing and in response to a request from the Commission,” he stated.

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