A former acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joy Nunieh, has revealed the reason she was relieved of her job.
She also accused the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godswill Akpabio, of fraud.
Akpabio and Nunieh had appeared before the senate ad hoc investigative panel over an alleged mismanagement of N40 billion by the interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC.
At a session appearing before the panel, Akpabio had denied knowledge of the expenditure of the NDDC under Nunieh, saying she refused to give him briefings.
Nunieh on her part, when she appeared before the panel made damning allegations against her boss, Akpabio, informing the audience that Akpabio caused her to be sacked for her refusal to yield to his demands.
Nunieh, who addressed journalists after appearing before the senate ad-hoc committee investigating the NDDC, made startling regulations of happenings at the NDDC, raising corruption allegations against the minister.
She alleged that, Akpabio would never sign any document, but rather ask his subordinates to commit fraud.
According to Nunieh, Akpabio asked her sack the head of the legal team who is from the north; remove all directors who refused to follow his instructions and also to implicate chairman of the Senate Committee on NDDC, Peter Nwaoboshi.
According to her, Akpabio had allegedly awarded 30 contracts before she became the commission’s acting MD.
The former NDDC boss, who said Akpabio asked her to take an oath of secrecy to stop her from exposing any of his dealings, alleged she was warned that if she refused to follow his instructions, she would be sacked.
Nunieh, said “nobody makes any payment in NDDC without Godswill Akpabio, adding that, “When we first came to the NDDC, on the day of going for the inauguration, he told me in the car that ‘Madam MD, if you don’t do what I say, the same pen which I use to sign your letter, it will be the same pen I will use to remove you.
She stated further: “He said the first thing I should do when I get to Port-Harcourt is to change the dollars in the NDDC account. I was scared to do that. After that, he came to Port-Harcourt. Two days after the inauguration, he said the first thing I should do is to make sure I change the dollars; I should remove Mr Kaltugo from being legal and send him on compulsory retirement.
“That we cannot have a northerner being the head of the legal team of the legal unit.
“He said I should remove all the other directors that refused to take his instructions during the time of Mrs Akwagaga, that is, the predecessor before I came. So, he came also with a draft letter that I should write and put it on my letterhead implicating Senator Nwaoboshi of collecting contracts in NDDC.
“I told him that I will not, that I am a lawyer and that whoever alleges must prove the fact that Senator Nwaoboshi is giving us trouble.
“Akpabio never signed any document. He will always refuse to sign but will tell you to go and commit the fraud.
“For instance, he told me to go and raise a memo and give an emergency contract for flood victims. He wanted me to take an oath; he has denied that but I want to say today, he told me up to three times until we had a reconciliation meeting at the Villa in the house of Mr Seriki Abba, who is the SA to the president on domestics.
“I refused to take the oath, so he said he was going to remove me. He started the campaign of calumny against me. I did not answer him because the fact will speak for itself.
“Then Mr Linus, who was the director, finance, refused to sign because it did not follow due process. Then he also said that I should implicate the chairman of the house committee because the chairman had gone to Ondo State for a meeting to plan against him.
“Now, to end this matter about the procurement process, I refuse to go with him to deceive Mr President at the FEC meeting because the Procurement Act says if I contravene any session of the Act it is five years imprisonment without an option of fine.
“Akpabio went to get the approval from FEC. The 2020 budget has not even been discussed by the national assembly till today. He lied to FEC which is the greatest embarrassment for a country.
“I refused. I am challenging him to deny any of these allegations.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, during an interview programme with Arise TV, Nunieh, said she slapped Akpabio, for sexually harassing her at the minister’s guest house in Abuja.
“Why did he not tell Nigerians that I slapped him in his guest house at Apo? I am the only woman that slapped Akpabio. He thought he could come up on me. He tried to harass me sexually.
“I slapped him. He tried to come on me. I am an Ogoni woman and nobody jokes with us. I showed Akpabio that Rivers women do not tolerate nonsense,” Nunieh said.
While alleging that Akpabio attempted to inflate the NDDC budget, she said the minister directed her to include some projects from the refugee commission in the budget of the NDDC.
“Akpabio wrote me to put a list of projects from the refugee commission in the budget of NDDC. Refugee commission is another federal government commission for IDPs.
“How do you tell me to put some of their projects in the NDDC budget when we have so many things to do in the Niger Delta? How do you explain that?”
Nunieh and Akoabio had engaged in war of words following the activities of the senate ad hoc panel investigating the alleged mismanagement of N40 billion by the interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC.