Former Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Dr. Gbene Joy Nunieh has accused a serving minister in the cabinet of president Muhammadu Buhari of monumental fraud.
Nunieh alleged former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godwin Akpabio of presented a fake documents to president Muhammadu Buhari and other members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the meeting and got approval for fictitious contract.
Nunieh, said this while addressing the pressmen after her appearance at the panel of senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs which was probing the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and NDDC over reckless spending of government money to the tune of N4.5 billion without following due process.
Nunieh, who also alleged minister of sacked her because she refused to swear to a secret oath to defraud the agency and government.
Although, according to reports, Senator Akpabio said he sacked the erstwhile Managing Director because of sharp practices and unverified contracts payment running into billions of Naira.
However, Nunieh denied the Minister’s allegation, saying he wanted her to take an oath of Secrecy to perpetrate corrupt practices so as to stop her from spilling the beans.
She disclosed that her sack was also due to her blunt refusal to sign illegal documents and approve unusual payments for Akpabio numerous contracts; without verification from Akwa Ibom State and his other loyal contractors.
In a media interview, Nunieh challenged Senator Akpabio to tell the media the real reason for which she was sacked stressing that the allegations that she was sacked due to sharp practices in NDDC were unfounded and baseless.
She also disclosed that when she left the saddle as Ag. MD, she left billions of naira in the coffers of the NDDC.
“Akpabio asked me to signed a fake documents in order for him to be able to get approval for a particular procurement under NDDC at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in which I refused because the budget for the procurement in discussion has not yet debate on at the National Assembly not to talk of approving it”
“I told him frankly that it is an illegal documents and it is my name that would be at stake not him. moreover I quite know that it is five years imprisonment without option of fine for whoever that caught in the act of dubious procurement like that. Akpabio, so smart to the extent that he would not pend his signature to any documents like that, only be looking for other officials to sign such in order for him to perfect his fraudulent documents to
siphon public funds”
Nunieh further alleged that the Minister wanted her to divert NDDC funds to sponsor his presidential ambition in 2023, which she bluntly refused.
“The crux of my problem with Senator Akpabio was simply because of my refusal to take an oath of secrecy; and pay his phoney Akwa Ibom contractors.
“My other offence was that I turned down Akpabio’s request to sponsor his 2023 presidential ambition; with the commonwealth of the people of Niger Delta; meant to carry out developmental projects in the oil-producing, but suffering communities”
“I could not join Akpabio to steal the money of Niger Delta people as I am the highest traditional title holder in Ogoniland in Rivers State; and I could not please Akpabio and offend the Almighty God”, she said.
Nunieh further revealed that “Akpabio wanted to compel me to swear to an oath of secrecy; and loyalty in the presence of other two top NDDC male officials”
“He tried to do that on about three consecutive times; and I looked at his face and bluntly told him no, that the God I serve is bigger than his secret oath. I refused to join him in his oath of secrecy to cover him by signing fake contract documents”
“He has been running a campaign of calumny to discredit or tarnish my hard-earned reputation”
“I know why I am saying this because is morally unfit to hold any sensitive public office in the country.”
Reacting to the allegations levelled against him by the sacked MD, Senator Akpabio said: ”I sacked her because she did not perform up to expectation; by paying unverified contracts money running to billions of Naira”
“Majority of the contracts are water hyacinth distilling. Some are without due process. She was bringing embarrassment to the commission; which I am bent on sanitizing through forensic auditing.”