In a response to a distress call, Rivers State Gov. Nyesom Wike on Thursday launched a rescue operation for a former Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Ms. Joi Nunieh and freed her from “house arrest” by armed policemen.
Wike had in a military style stormed Nunieh’s residence, off Herbert Macaulay Street, Amada-Flats at 10.20 am following reports that police had laid siege to her house purportedly on the orders of the Inspection-General of Police.
Nunieh, who was scheduled to appear before the Senate panel investigating the activities of the NDDC in Abuja on Thursday and the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee probing the multi-billion naira fraud, was however prevented from doing so.
On arrival, Wike had queried the policemen’s presence at her house and when told him ” it was order from the IGP, he called out Ms Nunieh and took her away.
The Senate and House of Representatives in early May 2020 resolved to probe how the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC allegedly squandered N40 billion within three months.
The Senate set up an adhoc committee presided over by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi (APC, Ekiti North) to look into financial transactions carried out by the IMC on behalf of the commission within the period and present a report in four weeks.
The House Committee on NDDC said it had received several petitions from contractors, stakeholders and public interest groups regarding the alleged layoff of personnel and their replacement with unqualified and inexperienced persons.
Since the commencement of the probe Akpabio and Nunieh have made series of allegations against each other while the Senate ad hoc panel investigates the management of funds under their watch as interim NDDC chairman and minister in charge of the commission.
Akpabio had told the Senate panel that he knew nothing about the expenditure of the NDDC under Nunieh because she refused to brief him.
PerSecondNews recalls that the media is awash with revelations by Nunieh accusing Akpabio of asking her to move some funded projects of the NDDC out of programmes the commission budgeted for.
“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,” Nunieh said.
She alleged that the minister engineered her removal for failing to carry out his “orders”.
Nunieh also accused the minister of invading her house and harassing her sexually which earned him a dirty slap from her.
Akpabio, however, refuted the allegations, describing them as false, malicious and libellous.