Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta Affairs, says he did not sexually harass Joy Nunieh, former acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Nunieh had accused Akpabio of sexually harassing her.
Speaking through Anietie Ekong, his media aide, on Wednesday, Akpabio said he has never made sexual advances against Nunieh.
The former governor of Akwa Ibom said he has never hidden his admiration of Ekaete Akpabio, his wife, whom he is contented with.
“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,” the former senator said.
“For the records, the Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON is happily married and content with his wife.
“Together they are blessed with children, four of whom are young women. The honourable minister is an avid believer of 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.
“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.
“He is the first governor in Akwa Ibom state to have a female deputy governor, was also the first to appoint female chief justices of the high court, recommended women for ministerial appointments one of whom was the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, and supported for an appointment the first female vice-chancellor of the only Federal University in the state etc.”
The minister wondered why Nunieh did not speak out until the period the senate is probing the NDDC.
“If indeed the allegation was true. Waiting till July 10th and 13th 2020 when the National Assembly appears to be probing some of her actions as the Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (“IMC”) exposes her motive, especially at a time when the momentum for the Forensic Audit,” he said.
“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.”
The minister added that he has instructed his lawyers to seek necessary “redress in a court of competent jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Ms. Nunieh.”
Since the senate resolved to probe the NDDC, there have been allegations and counter-allegations.