By Chris Ochayi – Abuja
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has threatened to sue the former Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mrs. Joy Nunieh. for the alleged defamation of his character.
Senator Akpabio said he has already instructed his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a court of competent jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Mrs. Nuniel.
The minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Anietie Ekong, in a statement on Friday said the Akpabio has instructed his lawyers to seek legal redress over the defamatory statements by the former NDDC boss.
Recall Ms. Nunieh had in an interview raised a wide range of accusations against the Minister, which is already generating a lot of controversies in the polity.
Ekong in the statement described Nunieh’s allegations as “cornucopia of false, malicious and libelous,” adding the Minister was set to seek redress in a Court of law.
According to the statement, “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 (4) 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 (2) 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.
“The Honourable Minister has never hidden his admiration and respect for his wife, Mrs. Ekaete Akpabio, children, and sisters. He, therefore, felt compelled to react to the malicious attack on his person by Ms. Nunieh bothering on allegations of sexual harassment.
“The Honourable Minister, therefore, finds the said allegation nauseating and very cheap blackmail, for Ms. Nunieh to suggest or insinuate that he sexually harassed her, while she was the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC.
“The Honourable Minister has taken steps to instruct his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a court of competent jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Ms. Nunieh.
“On a final note, while encouraging all Nigerians to hold their leaders to account, he urges them to take their time to sift between the chaff and the substance before embarking on far-reaching allegations, opinions, and views.”