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Over NDDC Crisis, House Of Ex-MD Surrounded by Armed Police Officers

OKEKUNLE SUNDAY, IBADAN

The embattled former interim MD and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, recently engaged each other in a war of words over corruption allegations in NDDC.

Ms Nunieh said she has called the police commissioner in Port Harcourt over the development, but the commissioner said her office and her officials were not involved in it.

On Thursday about 20 Armed police officers, surrounded the Port Harcourt home of the former interim managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joy Nunieh.

“They (police officers) came here to my home since 4 a.m., they have surrounded everywhere,” Ms Nunieh told a source and Confirmed to CMM Thursday morning.

“I am inside my house, I can’t leave for Abuja where I am scheduled to appear today before the House of Representatives Investigative hearing on NDDC,” she added.

The source exclusively learnt that Mr Akpabio played a major role in the removal of Ms Nunieh.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in February, named Kemebradikumo Pondei, a professor of medicine, as her replacement. He also ordered a forensic audit on the commission’s finances.

Both Houses of the National Assembly have, in the past months, uncovered series of financial infractions in the commission’s activities ranging from non-performing contractors to unaccounted funds in the tune of billions of naira.

Ms Nunieh and Mr Akpabio have been locked in a series of heated exchanges, the most recent being an accusation that Mr Akpabio tried to “come up” on her after failing to bribe her and convince her to take an oath of secrecy in Abuja.

She claimed that she slapped the minister for sexually assaulting her, a claim for which the minister turned down a request for clarification.

“We should not focus on sensationalism and pull-him down syndrome, for me, that (the development of the Niger Delta region) is what should engage our attention.

“As a Minister of the Federal Republic, I cannot discuss about an individual, I can discuss issues that will bring development and move the region forward; things that will promote the ideals of the Federal Government,” he said.

At the centre of the controversies is the Niger Delta commission, whose mandate to develop the oil-rich region has been sluggish for two decades of existence, largely due to corruption among officials in the agency.

Ms Nunieh acted as the commission’s head after the removal of Akwagaga Enyia in October 2019, but she was sacked four months later as the crisis rocking the commission over abuse of funds kept mounting.

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